Over the summer, Arsenal had an option between Martin Odegaard and James Maddison; they chose the former, and he is proving to be an important part of the turnaround, despite the fact that Maddison is playing for a poor Leicester City side.
In the months between June and September, one of the key goals was James Maddison, with Arteta apparently battling with opposite number Brendan Rodgers to obtain his signature.
Last season, Maddison sparkled for Leicester, who were once again disappointed, with their late-season form costing them a place in the Champions League for the second season in a row.
In 31 Premier League outings, he improved on his previous season’s stats, scoring eight goals in 24 starts and assisting five times.
After a toss-up between the Englishman and Odegaard, the Gunners chose the latter, taking advantage of the opportunity to join the Norwegian on a permanent deal following shades of quality during his temporary stint.
They chose Odegaard over Leicester’s troublesome player because of his explosive playmaking ability.
The 24-year-demise old’s was mostly due to his agreeing to a deal with the Foxes in order to steal one of their prized assets.
According to reports, Maddison was initially regarded as a replacement for the Norwegian, but their focus shifted back to the 22-year-old after Carlo Ancelotti’s side reduced their investment in him.
He finally joined Arsenal for a rumoured fee of £31.5 million.
However, Maddison’s poor performances this season have coincided with a disjointed Leicester City side that has endured a number of setbacks.
Wesley Fofana, for example, has been out for a long time after breaking his fibula against Villarreal.
“You must work your socks off, then you must work even more. When you do things like that, you gain confidence, and when you have confidence, you have a better chance of succeeding and performing at your best “When asked about Maddison’s form, Rodgers stated.
“He’s a terrific player who has played many fantastic games for Leicester and will continue to do so.” He’s going through a phase where things aren’t quite working out for him. He knows everything there is to know about everything there is to know about everything there is to know about everything He isn’t going to pity himself. You must work harder, putting even more effort into your game and your life as a player. If you can do it, you’ll be able to return to your previous level.”
Maddison has had a streak of poor performances this season, and his woes were compounded on Sunday as the Foxes blew a two-goal lead against Crystal Palace, with Michael Olise and Jeffrey Schlupp rescuing a draw with a spectacular second-half comeback.
Arsenal’s fortunes turned around in September, when they defeated every opponent in their way. The thrashing of rivals Tottenham, which capped off a brilliant month, was the most spectacular of them.
As summer gave way to autumn, Odegaard played a key role in all of their victories, but with the change of seasons, Arteta’s team appeared to have matured, with his philosophy bearing fruit.
The offensive quartet of Bukayo Saka, Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were finding their stride while the defensive foundations were being laid.
And they were on fire against Spurs and, before that, Burnley, with the Norwegian’s picture-perfect free-kick securing the three points for Arsenal.
Odegaard will be looking to improve his game by performing for his country as they attempt to leapfrog Holland, but they must first defeat the Turks in Istanbul before welcoming Montenegro.