Arteta: Southampton defeat has left players feeling ‘really down’
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Arsenal’s attempts to sign Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United in the summer could be aided by the Portuguese superstar’s friendship with Martin Odegaard. The Gunners are in desperate need of strikers this summer and the possibility of them signing Ronaldo has been raised over the past few days.
Ronaldo has scored 21 goals in 34 games for United this season following his match-winning hat-trick against Norwich City on Saturday. The 37-year-old has one more year left on his current contract with the club, but Erik ten Hag’s arrival as the new manager could throw a spanner in the works at Old Trafford, with the Dutchman reportedly ready to give Ronaldo his blessing to leave in the transfer window.
After Arsenal were beaten 1-0 by Southampton on Saturday – their fourth defeat in their last five games – Gunners fan Piers Morgan proposed a solution to their striker woes. “Arsenal should sign Ronaldo this summer,” he wrote on Twitter. “I’m deadly serious. That would solve our striker problem and help me move on from Aubameyang.”
Club legend Ian Wright has backed up Morgan’s logic, saying Ronaldo is “exactly what Arsenal need”, with Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah both out of contract on July 1. Mikel Arteta’s side have scored just twice in their last five Premier League matches to slip to sixth place – three points adrift of Tottenham in fourth.
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Were they to make a move for Ronaldo in the summer then Odegaard’s presence in north London could be a major boost. Odegaard played alongside Ronaldo at Real Madrid and the pair remain on good terms to this day.
As football.london reported, Ronaldo shared a nice moment with his former team-mate before kick-off in Arsenal’s 3-2 defeat by United in December. Meanwhile, Odegaard has previously spoken about how influential the Portuguese star was for him when he moved to Real from Norway aged just 16.
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“There were many tough periods both with the first team and the second team,” he told Norwegian outlet TV2. “But being around the best made me stronger. I feel that I have grown thanks to Madrid and I have learned from players like [Sergio] Ramos and Cristiano. When you are at the highest level, it is not as easy to make friends and that kind of thing. At least not when you are young and come from somewhere else. I came from a different dressing room culture and it is not easy to fit into a changing room.”
The feeling is clearly mutual, with Ronaldo picking Odegaard alongside Eden Hazard, Paul Pogba, Neymar and Memphis Depay as stars for the future in an interview with BT Sport in 2015. “I will mention Martin Odegaard of Madrid for example, at 16 he’s still young but you can see he’s a very good player,” he said.
“He’s a great player, I think he’s a young boy, he can still grow. He has a good future ahead. We must give him time to learn, to take his best decisions. But I see a lot of potential in the player, he has got a good left foot.”
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