Norway manager Stale Solbakken admits injured Arsenal star Martin Odegaard is ‘not doing well now’ but says he could still have a role to play in incoming international games despite injury concern.
Odegaard, 23, missed Arsenal’s 3-0 victory over Brentford on Sunday with a calf problem. ‘I don’t know [when they will return],’ Arteta said of the midfielder and Oleksandr Zinchenko ahead of kick-off.
‘We have the international break right now so that will give us a break. They are two different injuries and things but we don’t know yet.’
Norway are in Nations League action against Slovenia on Saturday and at home to Serbia on Tuesday with Odegaard still part of the squad for those games.
Solbakken says he and his staff have been in regular contact with their Arsenal counterparts over the midfielder’s fitness with a final decision still to be made over his availability.
“We are in regular dialogue with him and [Mikel] Arteta and Arsenal’s health sector, as it is called in Danish. Nothing has been decided there, so there is still hope,’ Solbakken said, as quoted by TV2.
Solbakken suggested national team captain Odegaard is still currently struggling for fitness but says he will remain part of the squad, even if deemed unfit to feature over the next seven days.
‘He’s not doing well now. Now it’s a matter of getting a final decision on whether he can be in both or one game.
‘We’ll certainly see him in Norway, either as a player or a ‘fourth coach’. It means a lot to have him.’
Odegaard is thought to have picked up his injury in training with Fabio Vieira stepping into replace him on Sunday against Brentford.
The summer signing from Porto, in his first starting appearance for the Gunners, added some gloss to a fine performance away from home, drilling home a third for his side in the second-half.
The win saw Arsenal reclaim their place at the top of the Premier League, bouncing back in style after a 3-1 defeat to Manchester United.
They sit a point ahead of Manchester City and Tottenham – with a north London derby against their arch-rivals looming after the international break on Saturday 1 October.