Martin Odegaard reveals he turns to Granit Xhaka for leadership advice after taking over as Arsenal captain

Martin Odegaard has revealed he spoke to Granit Xhaka for advice around being Arsenal captain after taking over as skipper this summer.

Odegaard was appointed club captain at the end of July after Alexandre Lacazette left the club to join Lyon.

The midfielder, who also captains Norway, has taken the armband despite being just 23 years old and he has revealed how he spoke to former skipper Xhaka about his new leadership role.

Xhaka was previously captain of Arsenal, but he was stripped of the captaincy in 2019 after falling out with supporters.

“We have talked a little bit,” said Odegaard. “He is a good friend of mine, and we are quite close.“He is someone I talk to a lot and try to learn from. I think he is a great player and also a great leader. Of course, I talk to him and try to get the best out of me, and everyone else as well.

“I have to try to use [being captain] in a good way, of course. Obviously, there is a bit more responsibility being the captain and all that.

“But I try to do the same things, I always try to do the best for the team, I fight for the team, and I give 100 per cent always. I have to try to use it in a good way.

“I think I am not maybe the loudest guy. But still, I think it is very little of last season that you see in the [Amazon] documentary.

“And also, I don’t feel any need to talk when the camera is there. Maybe I am a little bit more shy when the camera is there.”

Arsenal have made a flying start to this season, winning all three of their opening Premier League games, and Odegaard admits things are so different compared to a year ago.

Back then, the Gunners were bottom of the league and they failed to score a single goal as they slumped to three defeats on the spin.

“It has been a good start; I think especially compared to last season,” said Odegaard.

“It looks a bit better this time! We are happy at the moment; three wins and three good games. We are scoring a lot of goals, so of course we are happy.

“We have to stay calm and keep working hard and look for the next one already and try to win that one.

“I think a lot of things have changed. I think we have improved so much and it’s a bit strange to think it’s only one year ago. I feel like it’s a long time ago.

“We have improved so much, and we worked so hard in training to improve the way we play, and to improve all the basics in our game and I think you can see that on the pitch now.

“We understand each other a lot better. I think the system works really well, everyone understands their job on the pitch, and I think that’s the main thing, that the system is working well.

“And of course, we have signed some good players as well, so that helps.”

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