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Arsenal struck gold with “electric” ace who’s worth 3x more than Maddison

Written by on May 2, 2024

Manchester City may be in the driving seat for the Premier League title again, but the 2023/24 campaign has been another positive one for Arsenal Football Club and one full of promise.

Mikel Arteta’s side look magnitudes more composed this year, as demonstrated by their lack of collapse compared to the last two seasons, and their incredible goal difference (+57) shows how clinical and organised they have become.

It’s a squad filled with excellent players such as Bukayo Saka, Declan Rice and even Kai Havertz – much to the chagrin of Chelsea fans.

Still, there is one who is perhaps the most important to Arteta’s system, a player who has been compared to James Maddison in the past but has seen his valuation soar past the Englishman’s this term.

How Odegaard compares to Maddison this season

Of course, the player in question is Norwegian superstar and former wonderkid Martin Odegaard, who, over the last few years, has made the Gunners midfield his own.


martin-odegaard-arsenal-porto-champions-league

However, before he joined the red side of North London on a permanent deal in the summer of 2021 for just £34m, there were genuine conversations among fans and pundits about whether Arteta should go for the then-Leicester City ace Maddison instead.

Edu Gaspar and Co opted to sign the former Real Madrid prospect and a couple of years later the Foxes star finally moved to North London, only instead of donning red and white, he now wears just the latter, but how have the pair fared this season? And did Arsenal make a mistake back in 2021?


Martin-odegaard-arsenal

So, from a purely output perspective, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, the Spurs ace has missed 13 games for club and country this season, while the Arsenal captain has remained injury-free for the most part, missing just five games for club and country in November.

Second, due to the Gunners’ European adventures, the Drammen-born star has played significantly more games than his counterpart, coming in at 45 across all competitions to the Lilywhites ace’s 25. So, to make it a more accurate reflection, this comparison is based purely on their Premier League performances.

Maddison vs Odegaard: Premier League

Players

Maddison

Odegaard

Appearances

23

32

Goals

4

8

Assists

7

8

Goal Involvements per Match

0.47

0.50

All Stats via Transfermarkt

With that said, in his 23 games this season, the former Norwich City gem has scored four goals and provided seven assists, meaning he’s producing a goal involvement on average every two games.

In comparison, the Norway captain has scored eight goals and provided eight assists in 32 league games so far, giving him a goal involvement on average every two games as well.


Saka-Odegaard-Arsenal

However, the major difference here is how the pair have played post-Maddison’s injury.

In the 12 games the Lilywhites star has played since his return, he has provided just two assists and scored one goal, while his competitor has provided five assists and scored four goals of his own across the 14 league games he has played in that period.

Maddison vs Odegaard: Post injury

Players

Maddison

Odegaard

Appearances

12

14

Goals

1

4

Assists

2

5

Goal Involvements per Match

0.23

0.64

All Stats via Transfermarkt

It’s clear from these numbers that both players are incredibly creative and effective midfielders in their own regard, but the Englishman’s drop off in output post-injury is impossible to ignore and likely to affect his valuation.

Odegaard and Madison’s valuations compared

Now, while there isn’t much to separate the two midfield maestros regarding their output across the season as a whole, there is a massive difference in how the pair are valued.


martin-odegaard-arsenal-Henrikh-Mykhitaryan-as-roma-transfer-arteta-edu

According to the CIES Football Observatory, the “incredible” Spurs ace, as described by talent scout Jacek Kulig, is worth just €40m, which is around £34m. In comparison, the “electric” Arsenal gem, as described by Izzy Christiansen, is valued at a whopping €150m, which converts to around £128m, or more than three times the valuation of his London rival.

This might seem like a massive difference for two quality players, but it likely takes into account the fact that Maddison is two years older than his competition, has a significantly worse injury record that shows no sign of improving, has minimal European experience, and, perhaps most crucially, he has never shown any leadership qualities, unlike the Gunners star, who captains his club and national side.

Arsenal & Tottenham’s five most valuable players

Valuation

Arsenal Player

Valuation

Tottenham Player

€200m (£171m)

Bukayo Saka

€80m (£68m)

Dejan Kulusevski

€150m (£128m)

Martin Odegaard

€80m (£68m)

Destiny Udogie

€100m (£86m)

Gabriel Martinelli

€60m (£51m)

Pedro Porro

€100m (£86m)

Kai Havertz

€60m (£51m)

Cristian Romero

€100m (£86m)

Declan Rice

€60m (£51m)

Brennan Johnson

Arsenal & Tottenham Valuations via the CIES Football Observatory

Ultimately, while the Lilywhites dynamo is an undeniably talented and entertaining player to watch, Arsenal played a blinder by signing Odegaard instead, and his recent valuation is just more validation of their decision back in 2021.

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