Monday, September 18, 2023

Gary Neville names the Arsenal player Pep Guardiola would take at Man City ‘in a heartbeat’

Gary Neville lavished praise on Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard following the Gunners’ narrow victory over Everton on Sunday.

The Gunners enjoyed a rare win on Merseyside thanks to Leandro Trossard’s superb strike with 20 minutes remaining.

Although it was the Belgium international who walked away with the man of the match award, it was his skipper who largely orchestrated a fourth win from five games at the start of the new season.

Mikel Arteta is hopeful the former Real Madrid starlet will soon put pen to paper on a new contract and Neville understands why the Arsenal boss is so keen to secure Odegaard’s long-term future.

And while Manchester City’s star studded squad is hardly short of creative playmakers, Neville believes the Norwegian would be Pep Guadiola’s first pick if he were able to recruit one player from his title rivals.

Neville told Sky Sports: ‘Odegaard, it takes a lot to say this but when you think of the most beautiful football players that we’ve watched in the last seven or eight years in the Premier League I always think of David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne being just something you watch and you’re like that’s the way to play football.

‘Odegaard, I’m not saying he’s as good as De Bruyne or Silva yet, I think he’s got a bit to go in his career, but he’s getting to a point whereby now when I watch him play it is so smooth, it’s so silky.

‘I knew he was always a talented player but we’re now talking about something that is very different and just so talented, this is real class.

‘I think he now starts to be mentioned in the realms. Pep Guardiola, if you said could take one Arsenal player out of this Arsenal team I think he’d take him in an absolute heartbeat.

‘He would break into that Manchester City team because he’s a beautiful player to watch. Every time I watch him he gets better and better.

‘Arsenal must recognise what they have, I’m talking about the Arsenal players who must feed him as much as they possibly can. The more he gets on the ball in the final third the more football matches, assists and goals they’ll have in matches.’

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