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Scout Reports

Can Ødegaard live up to his potential and become a viable FPL asset?

Martin Ødegaard (£6.0m) has arrived in England with much fanfare but can he have an impact on Fantasy Premier League managers this season?

The Norwegian international has joined Arsenal on loan until the end of the campaign after years of hype as a Real Madrid youngster.

Despite becoming the youngest player to ever appear for the senior team at the Bernabéu, things never really worked out for Ødegaard there.

After impressing on loan at Real Sociedad last season, it was thought he would challenge for a place in the Real Madrid team this season, but after making only seven league appearances and failing to impress, he will now spend the rest of the season at the Emirates.

The question now is whether or not he can become a viable FPL asset and, if not, can he boost the appeal of those around him?

In a show of faith, Arteta has handed Ødegaard the number 11 shirt, which once belonged to Mesut Ozil.

“He’s a player that we followed for some time and we believe that he’s got some special qualities that we need, that we have been missing. Now we have to give him a little bit of time. He hasn’t played that many minutes in Madrid, but he’s been training hard and he looks so excited. As are we, to have another big talent at our club.”

Mikel Arteta

He added:

“In the last few seasons he’s progressed and developed in the right way. I follow him very closely because he played for Real Sociedad which is my hometown and I know him really well. He’s such a talent. He needs the right environment, a little bit of time, but he’s got the qualities to be a success for us.”

Mikel Arteta

MESSY

Playing senior football at the tender age of 15, the world seemed to be at the feet of young Ødegaard, who was even called up to the Norwegian national team before his 16th birthday.

Before joining Real, he had his pick of clubs, training with Arsenal, Liverpool and Bayern Munich before making the move to the Spanish capital.

His move to Real at such a young age even made him a social media sensation, with YouTube clips of his skills going viral.

With his diminutive dribbling style and sweet left foot, early comparisons were made between him and a young Lionel Messi.

Being compared to the best player in the world at the age of 15 has not helped Ødegaard, who has struggled to live up to his early hype.

Notice how quickly Mikel Arteta batted away the question when Lionel Messi is mentioned:

I wouldn’t get close to that name you just mentioned (Messi) because it’s a lost battle in my opinion. Martin is Martin.”

Mikel Arteta

After failing to gain a route into a Real Madrid midfield containing Casemiro, Toni Kroos, and Luka Modric, Ødegaard has spent a number of seasons on loan, at clubs like Heerenveen and Real Sociedad.

And it was in Spain last season where he finally caught the eye, producing some of the best attacking numbers in the league.

PLAYING STYLE

As mentioned above, Ødegaard is an attacking midfielder with great passing ability who loves to run at defenders.

His breakthrough with Real Sociedad last season saw him play all-but-one game in a number 10 role, scoring seven goals and adding nine assists in all competitions.

Advanced stats from Statsbomb, listed on fbref, show Ødegaard isn’t afraid to let fly from range, shooting 49 times last season from an average distance of 21.3 yards.

But Ødegaard’s real strengths lie in his creative abilities, with the stats suggesting he’d have laid on a lot more than six assists had he been playing in a more prolific team.

The Norwegian played 75 passes throughout the campaign which resulted in a shot on goal for a team-mate.

His dribbling skills were also evident last season, with seven of his runs with ball contributing to an attempt on goal.

He finished the season with the highest amount of dribbles, 63, from the 94 he attempted.

Ødegaard also brings a huge threat from set pieces, taking corners and free kicks at Sociedad.

These numbers paint the picture of Ødegaard as a player who will look to run with the ball and play the final pass to colleagues, but isn’t afraid of taking on the shot himself.

His added threat from set pieces could give him numerous point scoring avenues in FPL if he can claim responsibilities from the current takers.

WHERE WILL HE FIT IN?

From Arteta’s assessment, it does not appear he brought Ødegaard in with a clear idea of the position he will play in, other than in one of Arsenal’s attacking positions.

“He’s a specialist playing in the pockets, to be in the number eight and number 10 positions. He can play on the sides, a really creative player, really comfortable on the ball in tight spaces, the capacity to create chances, to score goals. Something he has improved a lot is his work rate without the ball as well. It’s another option to give us more creativity in the final third.”

Mikel Arteta

Had Ødegaard arrived at the start of the season, then he may well have been thrusted straight into an Arsenal side struggling to score goals.

But since Arteta’s introduction of a group of younger players into the first team, Arsenal have hit a real purple patch of form, beginning with their convincing 3-1 win over Chelsea.

In that time, winger Bukayo Saka (£5.4m) has established himself as one of the best, young attacking players in the league.

Playing mostly off the right-hand side, the 19-year-old has scored three goals and laid on two assists in the last six Gameweeks, cementing his place in Arteta’s first team.

And while the goals are not yet flowing, there are high hopes for Gabriel Martinelli (£4.9m), who Gunners fans will expect to be in and around the team this season.

But the real surprise package of this season for Arsenal has been the emergence of Emile Smith-Rowe (£4.5m), who plays in Ødegaard’s favoured number 10 position.

Smith-Rowe has proven to be Arsenal’s main creative outlets, and has the most assists to his name this season.

Aside from a red-card induced defeat to Wolves, the Gunners’ attack has been in good condition of late. Only league-toppers Manchester City recorded a higher expected goals rating (xG) than the them between Gameweeks 15 and 21.

So, if things are not broken, will Arteta want to rush Ødegaard into the side?

SMITH NO?

That could depend on Smith Rowe who, since breaking into the team against Chelsea, has started every Premier League game for Arsenal.

That said, the 20-year-old has only completed the full 90 minutes on one occasion, with Arteta hauling him off in six of the eight games he has featured in.

Arteta has even hinted that he would have liked to have been able to rest Smith Rowe more than he has done.

“Emile cannot play every single game, as we knew the other day. For example, in the FA Cup he was injured, he could not play. The other day [against Southampton on Tuesday], he could only play certain minutes because he was struggling for the last minutes. It has been a massive step for him for what he was doing three, four months ago and what he is doing right now. We need options.”

Mikel Arteta

Could this be where Ødegaard fits into the equation? As cover for Smith Rowe?

Either way, it is perhaps too early to expect him to fulfil that role with regularly considering Arteta said ahead of the defeat at Wolves that the loan signing is not quite ready for action yet.

“When you see him training and everyone is pushing to be involved (it’s good). He hasn’t been here long enough (to start yet) and maybe he needs more time.” – Mikel Arteta

Arsenal’s manager has insisted that Smith Rowe is in the team on merit, so there is certainly work for Ødegaard to do.

That is, of course, unless Arteta finds a way to select them in the same team, something he has entertained and refused to rule out whenever questioned about it.

“Of course, they can play together, and it is not about pushing somebody else [out of the team]. Emile has earned his right to play the way he is performing – and Martin has to earn that.”

Mikel Arteta

“(Ødegaard and Smith Rowe) can play together. Good players can play together.” – Mikel Arteta

The two players appear to offer a very similar level of creative to each other, but Ødegaard looks like he carries much more of a goal threat.

Stats taken from since Smith-Rowe broke into the Arsenal team show he has taken five shots in seven starts, with four of those coming in the box.

Gameweeks 15 to 21

These numbers are beaten by fellow attackers Saka, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang (£11.3m) and Nicolas Pépé (£7.7m), who have all played fewer minutes. Even deep-lying centre midfielder Granit Xhaka (£5.2m) has taken on more shots than Smith Rowe.

It appears that Ødegaard’s initial minutes could come in a number 10 role, with Smith Rowe due a rest, and that he could offer Arsenal an added goal threat when deployed in this position.

But if he wants to nail down the number 10 role as his own long-term, then he will have to do a lot to displace Smith Rowe in his current form.

FINAL THOUGHTS

On the face of things, Ødegaard looks like he could turn into a very useful FPL asset.

He combines goal and assist potential, and takes his fair share of set pieces as well.

But the Norwegian may find it hard to secure a place in one of the league’s better attacks, especially considering how settled Arteta currently is on his best front-four.

And although his price of £6.0m appears very accessible, there is an even better bargain close to home.

At just £5.4m, Saka combines both goal threat and assist potential and is already a nailed-on asset for Arsenal. If Ødegaard does come into the team at some point, he could only make the young Englishman a better prospect for Fantasy managers.

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530 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Óró Sé…
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    7 months, 22 days ago

    7 of the last 10 game week top scorers was a defender...
    Only lunatics captain defenders.

    Facts.

    1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
      • 5 Years
      7 months, 22 days ago

      I captained a defender this GW!

      1. Óró Sé…
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        7 months, 22 days ago

        Lunatic

        1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
          • 5 Years
          7 months, 22 days ago

          Totally!

    2. Andy_Social
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      7 months, 22 days ago

      So they have. Wow, I hadn't realised. Right, 5 at the back it is from now on!

  2. robt
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    7 months, 22 days ago

    Is Sanchez (Bri GK) nailed from now on? Tempted to bring him in for Ederson to free up some cash. There defence looks solid and decent looking fixtures ahead in short term

    1. Andy_Social
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      7 months, 22 days ago

      He is, yeh. Ideal back-up keeper in my book.

      1. robt
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        7 months, 22 days ago

        I am 0.1m off bringing him in as back up so might make him first choice for a while..

    2. Il Capitano
      7 months, 22 days ago

      Yes, nailed

    3. Kuzser
      • 4 Years
      7 months, 22 days ago

      Nailed

    4. teneighty
      • 6 Years
      7 months, 22 days ago

      4 CS in a row, wow!

  3. Il Capitano
    7 months, 22 days ago

    1FT 4.5m ITB

    McCarthy
    Coufal Cancelo Justin
    Soucek Salah Son Gundogan Bruno
    Bamford Antonio

    Johnstone - Adams Stones Lowton

    Time to bin a keeper? Or just play McCarthy and save FT?

    1. House Frey Wedding Planner
      • 3 Years
      7 months, 22 days ago

      Save and reassess after the cup fixtures have been played

      1. Il Capitano
        7 months, 22 days ago

        Thanks, seems a sensible play with no urgent concerns. 2FT to play around with once we know who doubles in GW24 sounds nice.

  4. Mane Mane Mane
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    7 months, 22 days ago

    Martinez (Johnstone)
    Cancelo Justin Coufal (Stones Dallas)
    Gundogan Grealish Salah Fernandez Soucek
    Antonio Bamford (DCL)

    2FT in the bank. Thinking of swapping Johnstone to Sanchez and playing him.

    Also Dallas to a chelsea defender but unsure on who to take out.

    Are these worthwhile transfers, please help...

  5. Aster
    7 months, 22 days ago

    Saka or DCL for the next gameweek?

    1. House Frey Wedding Planner
      • 3 Years
      7 months, 22 days ago

      DCL as Everton may have a double in gw24

    2. John Nerdelbaum
      • 8 Years
      7 months, 22 days ago

      To play or transfer in?

      1. Aster
        7 months, 22 days ago

        To play...I already own them.

  6. NateDog
    7 months, 22 days ago

    Pope
    Dias Cresswell AWB
    Grealish Gundo Salah Bruno Maddison
    Lacazette Antonio
    (Martinez, Justin, Digne, Brewster)

    Am I good to go here? Can't decide on my defence, think I'm okay with leaving Digne on the bench but I feel like Wolves could be a decent game for Leicester and Justin CS potential.

    1. DA Minnion (Legendary manag…
      • 9 Years
      7 months, 22 days ago

      I would start Justin and bench Lacazette.

      1. NateDog
        7 months, 22 days ago

        Darn I just brought in Laca as a 2 week punt for Kane, will have to think about that, thanks

  7. dbeck
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    7 months, 22 days ago

    Bench on of Robertson (vs City) or Digne (vs Utd)?

    1. dbeck
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      7 months, 22 days ago

      *one of

    2. Karan14
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      7 months, 22 days ago

      Tough one. Both likely to get 2 points.

  8. akhilrajau
    • 2 Years
    7 months, 22 days ago

    Is it better to moveout Robertson?

    1. Fit_to_drop
      • 1 Year
      7 months, 22 days ago

      Yes, he is on the same points level as his peers but costs +1m and in most cases +2m than the rest.

  9. FPL_BUCCANEER
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    7 months, 22 days ago

    Martinez DDG
    Cancelo Dias Chilwell Coufal Lowton
    Bruno Salah Son Gundo Soucek
    Watkins Antonio Bamford

    3.3ITB 2FT.

    Any ideas? TIA!

    1. dbeck
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      7 months, 22 days ago

      Chillwell might be your issue, wait and see tonight, so moving him out to anyone prob the best

      If Chilwell looks secure (or you want to bide more time) you have a good set to get a good 11 out, then if you have used a bb maybe drop one of your GKs (prob DDG) to a cheaper guy or fodder and float

      1. FPL_BUCCANEER
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        7 months, 22 days ago

        Cheers Becks!

  10. Eat my goal!
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    7 months, 22 days ago

    Bottomed

    Team set up ok?

    Mendy
    Cancelo Coufal Stones AWB
    Soucek Son Bruno Gundo
    Bamford Antonio

    Martinez salah dcl mitchell

    1. Karan14
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      7 months, 22 days ago

      I would start Salah over Stones.

      1. dbeck
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        7 months, 22 days ago

        defo, stones celing is low, mo's is higher

      2. Eat my goal!
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        7 months, 22 days ago

        I’m not sure in their current state that they’ll breach city’s defence, usually it wouldn’t be a choice but pool look dire!

  11. Karan14
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    7 months, 22 days ago

    Martinez
    Robbo Cancelo Cresswell
    Salah Bruno Son Grealish Gündo
    DCL Antonio

    (Steer Dias Mitchell Brewster)
    2 FTs & 1.0m

    Robbo & Brewster ➡️ Shaw & Bamford for free?
    Will bench DCL (mun) this week

    Thoughts?

    1. dbeck
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      7 months, 22 days ago

      the moves in isolation look great. Less great in the context of your team and benching situation.

      I think i perfer just upgrading mitchell to a 4.5 guy and playing and floating your other move this week

      1. Karan14
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        7 months, 22 days ago

        Robbo to Shaw is definitely on for me.
        Better fixtures, better assist threat and 2.5m cheaper.
        Also need that money to upgrade my bench for BB.

        1. dbeck
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          7 months, 22 days ago

          Mitchell to Shaw?

    2. Eat my goal!
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      7 months, 22 days ago

      Yeah seems sensible

      1. Karan14
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        7 months, 22 days ago

        Cheers!

  12. Rhodes your boat
    • 5 Years
    7 months, 22 days ago

    How to use my 2ft’s? 0.3itb

    Martinez
    Stones coufal Rudiger
    Salah sterling Bruno son soucek
    Kane bamford

    Forster Mitchell holding davis

    1. Karan14
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      7 months, 22 days ago

      Kane to Antonio/Watkins

      1. dbeck
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        7 months, 22 days ago

        +1

        1. Rhodes your boat
          • 5 Years
          7 months, 22 days ago

          But isn’t Kane rumoured to only miss 1 more gw?

  13. Fernandito
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    7 months, 22 days ago

    Current defence is:

    Maguire Stones Dias Robertson Cresswell

    Want to move Robertson, best option to go for?

    A Dallas
    B Justin
    C Rudiger (or other Chelsea)
    D Other (like who?)

    1. Karan14
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      7 months, 22 days ago

      C

    2. dbeck
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      7 months, 22 days ago

      C from those, I also like Ben White and Ben Mee fixtures over the next 5

  14. OLLY G
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    7 months, 22 days ago

    Who to start please?

    (A) Gundogan
    (B) Wilson

    Thanks.

    1. Karan14
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      7 months, 22 days ago

      Wilson

    2. Party time
      7 months, 22 days ago

      A

    3. CoracAld2831
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      7 months, 22 days ago

      Wilson against beaten up Southampton might be the best solution.

  15. rnrd
    • 7 Years
    7 months, 22 days ago

    seems like we all have a benching headache this GW.

    What "golden rules" will you apply?

    I'll evetually play TAA, Dallas Cancelo over Dier (WBA) and play DCL ahead of Dier. Always play the "higher ceilings" right?

    1. Andy_Social
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      7 months, 22 days ago

      "Don't be a slave to rules that worked in the past" is my mantra.

    2. hullcityfan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      7 months, 22 days ago

      Dier ceiling might not be that low - WBA not good at defending set pieces.

  16. JONALDINHO
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    7 months, 22 days ago

    Thoughts on Ings? Might bring him in this week. Newcastle and Wolves 2 great fixtures coming up and a great double

    1. Andy_Social
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      7 months, 22 days ago

      I'd want to see how Saints cope after that 9-0 drubbing first.

  17. BobB
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 12 Years
    7 months, 22 days ago

    Liverpool's slump is all about VVD. Not just defensively - the full-backs can't bomb forward without cover

    1. Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      7 months, 22 days ago

      Big part, but not the only part. So many injuries. With no VVD a midfielder is often having to play in defence which affects the midfield press too.

      Whilst the above and fullbacks have an affect, I'd say Mané & Firmino haven't quite been on it this season. I think Salah still offers more attacking-wise, but obviously is in a little bit of a form slump himself too.

  18. BobB
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 12 Years
    7 months, 22 days ago

    Saha owners....sticking or twisting?

    1. Andy_Social
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      7 months, 22 days ago

      Ah Louie Louie

    2. The VAR Team
      • 2 Years
      7 months, 22 days ago

      Depends if you mean Zaha Salah or Saka

    3. Party time
      7 months, 22 days ago

      Twisting. I’m bringing in Drogba

  19. CoracAld2831
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    7 months, 22 days ago

    Bench one for GW23?:

    A) Justin
    B) Cresswell
    C) Cancelo
    D) Stones
    E) Play them all

    1. CoracAld2831
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      7 months, 22 days ago

      Also have Mitchell.

    2. Fit_to_drop
      • 1 Year
      7 months, 22 days ago

      I think Liverpool score on the basis that they seem to dig something out when pin is to collar this season.

    3. hullcityfan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      7 months, 22 days ago

      Stones or Justin, probably Stones

  20. cheekumz
    • 7 Years
    7 months, 22 days ago

    Sorting my team for next week and i've just realised im incredibly tempted benching Salah for Gundogan... Is this crazy? I really dont want to bench anyone else on my team other than one of these two.

  21. as33
    • 6 Years
    7 months, 22 days ago

    Do i need any changes?
    Martinez
    Cancelo, Stones, Holding(Kilman)
    Sterling, Bruno, Salah, Grealish
    DCL, Laca, Bamford
    0itb, 1ft

    1. CoracAld2831
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      7 months, 22 days ago

      Consider changing Bamford to Antonio/Watkins?

    2. golfboy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      7 months, 22 days ago

      Probably Save this week. Not a fan of the Holding and Laca picks (Arsenal fan?) but otherwise team looks great

      1. as33
        • 6 Years
        7 months, 22 days ago

        Holding gave me lots of points in previous weeks, so for his price im happy 🙂

        1. golfboy
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          7 months, 22 days ago

          Fair play!

  22. golfboy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    7 months, 22 days ago

    Chaps, I've made some terrible captain picks over the last few weeks and dropping like a stone. Any advice on what to do with this lot much appreciated:

    Martinez
    Robbo Dias Cancelo Justin
    Gundo Salah Bruno Son
    Bamford DCL

    (Button Soucek Dalls Davis)

    2FT 3.6m ITB

    A) Robbo > Shaw and roll 1
    B) Davis > Antonio and roll 1
    C) Both
    D) Something else?

    Thank you!

    1. Fit_to_drop
      • 1 Year
      7 months, 22 days ago

      A stops you from doing B, and B stops you from doing A given either move will change you from 4-4-2 to 3-5-2. If i was to pick one, Id probably go B but there is very little in it.

  23. Fit_to_drop
    • 1 Year
    7 months, 22 days ago

    2 FT's this week

    Robbo >> Justin and Dale Stephens >> Soucek in a 3-5-2

    Good moves or would you prefer a UTD defender? Have double City defence and the rest of the forward 7 is same as everybody else at this stage.

  24. Party time
    7 months, 22 days ago

    Scottish commentator sacked for saying he went for a jobby at halftime after he turned up 8 minutes late for the start of the 2nd half last night

    Commentator: “Yeah, Sorry, it was just a wee bit of poop & I was a bit late back because I had to squeeze quite a bit...”

  25. poulteren
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    7 months, 22 days ago

    sorry for repeated post but pretty PLEASE could you help me make up some ground.....

    i would be hugely appreciative of any help.

    I have 2FTs and 3.2mn cash

    Martinez / Forster

    Dallas, Coufal, Justin, Pieters, Stones

    Sterling, Salah, Fernandes, Gundogan, Son

    Bamford, Davis, Watkins

    THANKS!! 🙂

  26. Couch Potato
    • 2 Years
    7 months, 22 days ago

    A Salah (or Sterling) > Son (c)
    B Brewster > Antonio
    C Both for a -4

  27. Mahjongking
    • 4 Years
    7 months, 22 days ago

    Sell salah for son?