Arteta On Fabio Vieira's first Premier League start
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Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard could be forced to withdraw from international duty with Norway as the ongoing uncertainty over the severity of his injury continues. The playmaker was left out of the squad for Sunday’s win over Brentford after Mikel Arteta revealed he had picked up an injury in training. Norway have now asked Arsenal and the Odegaard if he will be joining up with the squad for the international break.
Odegaard had started all six Premier League matches this season after being named club captain earlier in the campaign. But the attacking midfielder was conspicuous in his absence from the squad along with Oleksandr Zinchenko in the 3-0 win over Brentford.
The Norwegian midfielder picked up a calf problem in training before the match last week, giving Fabio Vieira the chance to impress on his full Premier League debut. And while the Portuguese impressed, scoring his first goal for the club, the absence of their chief creator Odegaard left some fans feeling concerned.
Gunners head coach Arteta refused to give anything away on their fitness and did not put a timeframe on their potential return, only confirming they were unavailable for the game through injury. ”They are both injured and not available for the game,” he said.
“I don’t know [how long they will be out for], we have the international break right now so it’s going to give us a break [on that]. They are two different things but we don’t know yet.”
Norway coach Stale Solbakken included the 23-year-old in his squad to face Slovenia and Serbia in the UEFA Nations League matches later this month. However, it is unclear as to whether the player will be fit in time to play the two international fixtures following his injury.
The Arsenal star was scheduled to attend the Norway training camp this week, but Dagbladet claims it is ‘not clarified’ whether he will be present. It is unlikely that Norway will risk Odegaard if he is not fully fit, given Arsenal’s packed fixture schedule and the fact Norway have not qualified for the 2022 World Cup.
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Solbakken has reportedly spoken with Odegaard to discuss his fitness and whether he should join up with the squad. But the Norwegian newspaper quoted a spokesperson for the national team saying “nothing has been decided yet” as to whether he will link up with the squad.
Odegaard, who made his international senior debut at the age of 15 years and 253 days to become his country’s youngest-ever player, has won 43 caps for Norway and remains a key part of the Nordic nation’s future along with Manchester City star Erling Haaland.
But it remains to be seen whether he will be taking part in their next two games or even joining up with the squad if he is not deemed to be fully fit.
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