Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard names surprising Premier League midfielder as hardest opponent he’s faced… despite sharing a pitch for just seven minutes
Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard has named Manchester United dynamo Paul Pogba as his toughest opponent in an interview with Norwegian journalist Arilas Ould-Saada, despite only having been on the pitch with him for seven minutes.
The 23-year-old creator has been in sublime form for the young Gunners side this season, providing six goals and four assists as his side battle to finish in the top 4 and qualify for the all-important Champions League football that comes with it.
But, asked about who his hardest opponent has been, he had a surprise answer.
‘It’s hard to pick one, but I remember when I met Paul Pogba, I was impressed by his physique and power, how difficult it was to get close to him, how strong he was’, the Arsenal midfielder claimed. ‘As a midfielder he was hard to face.’
This comes as the Arsenal man and Pogba have only shared a pitch for a matter of minutes. Seven to be precise. Odegaard came on as a substitute in Arsenal’s 0-0 draw against the Red Devils in January 2021, in his debut for the Gunners.
Pogba to miss return clash
Odegaard will, fortunately, not be tasked with playing against the Frenchman when the two sides meet on Saturday lunchtime in a Premier League top 4 clash at the Emirates, with Pogba having picked up an injury in the opening stages of his side’s 4-0 hammering at the hands of Liverpool that will sideline him for the game.
And, they may never face off again, with Pogba seeming likely to leave the Premier League when his contract at Manchester United expires this summer, leaving only European games as a possible battleground for the pair.
Given that Pogba will be looking to move to a Champions League club, and Arsenal may miss out on Champions League football come the end of the season, those seven minutes may indeed be the only time that the pair face off.