Danny Murphy names the one ‘irreplaceable’ player at Arsenal after Brighton win

Danny Murphy is adamant Arsenal are not going anywhere in the Premier League title race and has named the one ‘irreplaceable’ player in Mikel Arteta’s squad.

The Gunners are seven points clear of defending champions Manchester City going into 2023 after beating Brighton on New Year’s Eve.

Earlier in the day, Pep Guardiola’s Man City dropped two valuable points at home to Everton after Demarai Gray cancelled out Erling Haaland’s opening goal.

Arsenal discovered Manchester City’s setback before their visit to Brighton and responded with an impressive performance, beating the Seagulls 4-2.

Murphy felt Arsenal’s performance was further proof that the Gunners are the real deal as they chase a first league title since 2004.

Martin Odegaard starred in Arsenal’s victory over Brighton

The ex-England midfielder was particularly impressed by Martin Odegaard’s display and said the Norway star was the ‘one player’ Arsenal would struggle to replace.

‘I do think Odegaard is the one player they would struggle to replace,’ Murphy said on BBC’s Match of the Day. ‘They’ve got other talented players but, for me, they would struggle to replace him.

‘Looking at Arsenal as a whole, they are there. I thought they would fall away but they’re not.’

Odegaard produced another impressive performance in the victory over Brighton, scoring Arsenal’s second goal and providing another assist.

Asked about Odegaard’s performance, Arsenal boss Arteta said: ‘He is doing what we want him to do – to decide football matches and work really hard and deliver to the team what he needs in these moments which is different.

‘The four front players scored again today; that is great news. Eddie scoring again, Bukayo, Martinelli and in crucial moments as well.

‘That’s what we want, those players deciding football matches when the team needs it and that’s what they’re doing.’

On Arsenal’s seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League, Arteta added: ‘I don’t know, it’s still a long, long run to go.

‘My excitement comes when I go in the dressing room and the players are talking about what they should’ve done better today.

‘That means they know that we still can play better, be better and against Newcastle we will have to be better.’

Arsenal continue their Premier League campaign on Tuesday evening against Newcastle United, who are currently third in the table.

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