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Martin Odegaard reaction to Gabriel Jesus goal highlights attitude to Arsenal captaincy

Martin Odegaard has taken on the mantle of wearing the armband at Arsenal this season and is clearly focused on the role.

Martin Odegaard has taken on the mantle of wearing the armband at Arsenal this season and is clearly focused on the role.

The Norwegian has succeeded Alexandre Lacazette, who was the captain after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s departure in January, and is determined to do it justice – which was evident as the Gunners opened the scoring in their win over Leicester City.

Gabriel Jesus curled home to finish excellently and score his first Premier League goal for his new side. He reeled away in celebration and the rest of his teammates followed him – except for captain Odegaard, who immediately ran in the opposite direction to the dugout. 

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Gabriel Jesus opened the scoring in north London

There Mikel Arteta was waiting with some clear instructions as he looked to make some tweaks following the early exchanges. He and his captain were in dialogue for a good 10 seconds before the rest of the team headed over for a drinks break, which were taking place due to the extreme heat.

Odegaard, who only signed permanently last summer, is determined to thrive in his new role but has made it clear he expects the rest of the squad to play their part throughout the season. He said in his programme’s notes: “I’m sure I will learn more as I do the job, but I enjoy the responsibility, and hopefully I can grow more with time as well.

“It’s important that we all take leadership in the team too – it’s not just about me or a few people, I think everyone needs to take the leadership and do what’s best for the team. We have a good dressing room and everyone is together in doing our best this season.” 

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Martin Odegaard (L) did celebrate Gabriel Jesus’s second goal with teammates

Odegaard will no doubt be helped by several new faces. Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko have both arrived from Manchester City and have been part of their huge success in recent years. That knowhow will be a huge asset to the Gunners squad as they look to challenge for the top four.

Jesus finished the game with two goals and two assists, with Odegaard showing his appreciation for the forward after his second goal, as Arteta was seemingly content enough on the sidelines not to consider any further tactical amendments.

The current squad will also hope to be better off for their experience last term, even if it was a negative one. Arsenal recovered well to put themselves in Champions League contention and were in pole position going into the season’s final months. However, a series of unexpected losses allowed rivals Tottenham to steal a march and eventually usurp them.

Arsenal have started the new campaign in the best possible manner though, picking up six points from six. Jesus score two of their four against Leicester City with Granit Xhaka and Gabriel Martinelli also getting in on the act.

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