Arteta says Odegaard 'instrumental' in Gunners' Champions League return
Mikel Arteta has sung the praises of Martin Odegaard ahead of Arsenal's Champions League group stage clash with PSV Eindhoven tomorrow.
The Gunners host the Dutch outfit for their first outing in Europe's top competition since March 2017, when they were thrashed 5-1 by Bayern Munich at the Emirates.
Arsenal finished second behind Premier League champions Manchester City last season and Arteta believes captain Odegaard has been "instrumental" in improving the North Londoners' fortunes.
The Basque boss said: "He [Odegaard] is our captain, a really important player for us.
"He is a player who has developed and evolved, he has been instrumental in building the culture we wanted.
"The level he has performed at has been very consistent.
"This club has to be in the Champions League. It was a process but we are here and now we have to make the most out of it.
"It is always a learning process. I think we did and we have improved as a team, we have improved the squad and we deserve to be here."
Arteta confirmed Gabriel Martinelli is unavailable to face PSV after sustaining a hamstring injury in the 1-0 win at Everton, although there is a chance the Brazilian will be fit to face fierce foes Tottenham on Sunday.
The Gunners boss was also asked about who will start between the sticks with goalkeepers David Raya and Aaron Ramsdale fighting for selection, to which he offered no conclusive answer.
He said: "I respect opinions and I understand the questions and historically what has happened. We have been doing this for many years.
"It is my job to answer the questions in the best possible way and to do what I feel is best for the team and the club.
"Tomorrow we are going to play against a really good team. They are used to winning and it will be a really tough test, I am sure about that."