Takehiro Tomiyasu has credited Martin Odegaard with settling his nerves before his Arsenal debut against Norwich.

The Japanese star was a deadline day arrival from Bologna and was thrown into a Gunners side that were struggling.

He has made an impressive start, helping the north Londoners register three straight wins, conceding just once in that time.

But ahead of his first outing at the Emirates, a game that Arsenal daren't lose, the Norwegian made an effort to help his new teammate.

"Ever since I arrived, every single player has helped me a lot here, and every member of staff as well," he said in Arsenal's matchday programme.

Takehiro Tomiyasu has settled in well at Arsenal

"Before that game against Norwich I have to say I was really nervous.

"So I really appreciated the help from all the players, especially Martin Odegaard.

"He told me that you just have to enjoy this time, really enjoy it and that’s what I was able to do. It helped that we were able to take the three points as well!

"It meant it was a good day for me, but if I think of my own performance, actually I’m not 100 per cent satisfied.

"I made some mistakes, especially defensively. But I think it will get better, it was just my first game."

Odegaard's role in helping his teammate underlines his leadership qualities, something Mikel Arteta spotted early on.

The playmaker spent the latter part of last season on loan at the Emirates before they signed him permanently in the summer.

Even then the Arsenal boss had seen Odegaard step up and take responsibility.

"Well, he’s showing that I think from week one," Arteta said of the 22-year-old as a leader.

"The way he steps on the pitch, he always wants the ball, the way he commands the pressing. He’s been really influential.

"I think we’ve all been a bit surprised because he looks really shy and humble, but when he steps on that pitch he’s a real character and he loves to play football."

Odegaard's willingness to take on responsibility has also been seen at international level.

Mikel Arteta has praised Martin Odegaard's leadership qualities (


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He held a meeting with his Norway teammates whilst the coaches were absent so that the players could speak freely earlier this month after a poor run of results.

"We spoke completely freely and openly," said Odegaard. "Everyone got to air what they had on their minds.

"We have played many big matches in recent years, but have not managed to solve it optimally all the time. We thought it was good to have a chat about how we avoid making new mistakes."

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