Ronaldo’s Odegaard verdict shows just what kind of player Arsenal are targeting

Cristiano Ronaldo is a man who knows talent when he sees it.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has lined up alongside some of the very best players in the world during his extraordinary career.

But he appeared particularly taken by a young Martin Odegaard when the Norwegian star first joined Real Madrid.

Odegaard's future is the subject of intense speculation at the moment, with rumours that Arsenal are lining up a move for the 22-year-old attacking midfielder.

He first moved to Madrid back in 2014, but has struggled to really make an impression, and has so far failed to spark in the nine La Liga games he has appeared in this season.

Nevertheless, in 2015 Odegaard was one of the five players Ronaldo tipped for greatness in the future in an interview with BT Sport, along with Eden Hazard, Memphis Depay, Paul Pogba and Neymar.

Ronaldo said at the time: " You see many players with potential. I will mention Martin Odegaard of Madrid for example, at 16 he's still young but you can see he's a very good player."

And when asked what specifically impressed him about Odegaard, he said he had been particularly wowed by his left-footed ability.

"He's a great player, I think he's a young boy, he can still grow," Ronaldo added.

"He has a good future ahead. We must give him time to learn, to take his best decisions. But I see a lot of potential in the player, he has got a good left foot."

While Odegaard has yet to quite live up to Ronaldo's prediction of becoming a world-beater, he would no doubt be a hugely exciting signing for Arsenal if they can get it over the line.

He managed seven goals and nine assists in La Liga while on loan at Real Sociedad last season, and a change of scene could see his potential unlocked again.

Spanish outlet Diario Sport claim the Gunners are 'very close' to landing the player, but it remains to be seen if he pushes instead for a return to La Real.

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