Martin Ødegaard's move to Arsenal has been the perfect move for both the player and the club, according to former Republic of Ireland defender Kenny Cunningham.
The Norwegian midfielder has found a new lease of life under Mikel Arteta. He has formed part of a resurgence of young talent at the club that has seen the Gunners fight their way back into the top four.
However, at just 23, there is a lot more to see from the former Real Madrid player. Kenny Cunningham believes that Arteta and his formation can get the best out of the Norwegian.
The 72-time capped Irish international went as far as comparing Ødegaard to the legendary Dutch striker Dennis Bergkamp with the way that he played in Arsenal's victory over Leicester City.
'I think it has been a good move for both parties... Arsenal have rescued him!' | ⚽️
Kenny Cunningham feels that Martin Ødegaard has been great for Arsenal recently | 🔴
Football w/ @SkyIreland
Full chat ➡️ https://t.co/I4XtWflUiY pic.twitter.com/evkHpQVz5T
— Off The Ball (@offtheball) March 13, 2022
Speaking on Off The Ball on Sunday after Arsenal beat Leicester City 2-0, Cunningham discussed the success of the Norwegian attacking midfielder at the Emirates.
"I think it has been a good move for both parties," Cunningham said. "I think it's been a good move for Arsenal, but I think Arsenal have rescued him!
"They took a big fee to get him there. I look at Ødegaard and I see a player that can probably play in only one position, that number 10 position, that kind of [Dennis] Bergkamp position.
"You saw a little bit of that Bergkamp play in him today. [he was] kind of drifting between the lines, playing at his own pace and almost dictating from that number 10 position, which is exactly what Bergkamp used to do."
Ødegaard moved over to north London from Madrid, where he was not used to his best capabilities.For Cunningham, the style and formation used at Arsenal greatly suit Ødegaard's skillset, while Madrid could not fit him into their formations.
"I think at Real Madrid, if you look at the way they've played the past couple of years, they don't really play with a 10," Cunningham said.
"You have to play off the wide areas or play in a midfield three at Madrid, and that is not his best position. So, I think it just suits him at Arsenal.
"He is just dropping in behind [Alexandre] Lacazette. Then, with the help that he gets from the sides from the likes of [Gabriel] Martinelli narrowing up and Bukayo Saka looking to play those little combinations, he looks really comfortable in that environment."
Football on Off The Ball brought to you by Sky. All the football you love in one place across Sky Sports, BT Sport & Premier Sports.