I want to be the UK's next Prime Minister - one Arsenal player has shown me what real leadership is

Leader of the Labour Party Sir Keir Starmer walks to a polling station

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer has heaped praise on Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard for his leadership qualities.

The opposition leader, who will be hoping to win the United Kingdom's next general election and become prime minister, is a lifelong Arsenal fan. Starmer holds a season ticket at the Emirates Stadium and is regularly seen at matches throughout the campaign.

And the politician is full of praise when it comes to Gunners skipper Odegaard. The 61-year-old also praised Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta for the work he has done since succeeding Unai Emery in 2019.

"He [Arteta] has built a real team there," Starmer told the Telegraph. "Things like making Odegaard captain. I saw Odegaard when he first played for us, he was on loan from Real Madrid. And I thought ‘there’s a really technically gifted player’.

"But by making him captain he has given him a responsibility and a status that we can see reflected through the player. Odegaard is a leader on the pitch now.

"If everything is going through Odegaard, if he is playing well, he’s lifting the other players. And at the end of every game Odegaard will go round the whole pitch, applauding the fans. That’s real leadership."

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Starmer was also asked about his views on the Premier League title race. The Gunners lead the table by a single point with just three games left, although reigning champions Manchester City have a game in hand over Arteta's side.

"It depends on City," he said. "It’s the best title race for ages, this year, and I have been going every game home and away. City are good though. Look at [Kevin] De Bruyne. Look at [Erling] Haaland. These are great players."