Mikel Arteta has hinted Arsenal want to make Martin Odegaard's loan move from Real Madrid permanent at the end of the season.
The 22-year-old has started each of the Gunners' last two games, impressing with his composure and creativity. His current loan spell is set to end in the summer but if Arteta gets his way, the Norwegian could remain in north London beyond that.
"At the end of the season we will sit together and decide where we can take that relationship forward. At the moment it doesn’t just depend on us."
Although he has not yet registered a goal or an assist this season, Odegaard's influence since arriving in north London has been undeniable. He showed some nice touches on his full Premier League debut against Leeds and was heavily involved in his side's equaliser against Benfica on Thursday.
Arteta has clearly been impressed by his start, adding: "On the pitch he is showing a lot of character and a lot of intelligence. They are characteristics that a leader should have.
"He has been here a very short time but he has adapted very quickly. He is getting more and more respect from the players and the staff and his weight on the team will increase with every week."
Arteta will need Odegaard to continue his fine form as his side is preparing for the most critical juncture in their season so far. They kick off with a tough game against leaders Manchester City, which is followed by the return leg against Benfica and a meeting with high flying Leicester, all in the space of seven days.