Norway manager Stale Solbakken admits injured Arsenal star Martin Odegaard “isn’t doing well now” but says he may still have a role to play in upcoming international matches.
Odegaard, 23, missed Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Brentford on Sunday with a calf problem. ‘I do not know [when they will return]’Arteta said of the midfielder and Oleksandr Zinchenko before kick-off.
‘We have the international break right now, so this will give us a break. They are two injuries and different things but we don’t know yet. ‘
Norway are involved in the Nations League against Slovenia on Saturday and at home against Serbia on Tuesday with Odegaard still in the squad for those matches.
Solbakken says he and his staff have been in regular contact with their Arsenal counterparts about the midfielder’s fitness with a final decision yet to be made on his availability.
“We are in regular dialogue with him and [Mikel] The healthcare sector of Arteta and Arsenal, as it is called in Danish. Nothing has been decided, so there is still hope, “said Solbakken, quoted by TV2.
Solbakken has hinted that national team captain Odegaard is still fighting for fitness, but says he will remain a part of the squad, even if deemed ineligible to play in the next seven days.
“She’s not well now. Now it is a question of making a final decision whether it can be in both or in one match.
We will certainly see him in Norway, both as a player and as a ‘fourth manager’. It means a lot to have it. ‘
Odegaard thought he had recovered from his injury in training with Fabio Vieira who replaced him on Sunday against Brentford.
The summer signing from Porto, in his first appearance as a starter with the Gunners, added some sparkle to a strong away performance, scoring a third goal for his side in the second half.
The win saw Arsenal claim their place at the top of the Premier League, bouncing back in style after a 3-1 defeat to Manchester United.
They sit one point ahead of Manchester City and Tottenham, with a north London derby against their arch rivals looming following the international break on Saturday 1 October.