Rio Ferdinand admitted he is ‘worried’ that Arsenal signing Martin Odegaard could stunt the growth of Emile Smith Rowe.
Odegaard, 22, is set to arrive at the Emirates on loan from Real Madrid this week in an initial six-month deal, with Arteta looking to add a new creative influence to his squad after Mesut Ozil’s departure.
Smith Rowe, 20, has been in superb form since being thrust into the Arsenal first team.
But Ferdinand, the former Manchester United centre-half, is concerned that his development will be affected by the arrival of the Real Madrid midfielder
I’ve heard about this kid for a long time now,’ Ferdinand told Five. ‘He had a good loan spell in Spain at Sociedad and did really well
He’s got potential, 100%. It’s about Mikel Arteta unlocking that.
‘I think this kid is a talent, there’s no doubting that. But he’s got to find a home now.
Hopefully at Arsenal. ‘I want him to do well. Arteta had a reputation when he was at City and now here at Arsenal for getting the best out of young players, hopefully that follows true with this player.
‘That’s the only thing that worries me. If he comes in and takes someone like Emile Smith Rowe’s position, I’ll be devastated.
Because he’s come in and done unreal things. The way he’s played, he’s been a breath of fresh air at Arsenal, I’m sure the fans if they were there would be going crazy about him.
‘He brings assists, he brings a calmness to the way Arsenal play. He’s the type of player who could have played over a number of generations at Arsenal in the way he plays football.
‘So I hope he doesn’t come in and kind of stunt his growth in the team because he’s been really good the last few weeks