Martin Odegaard to Arsenal is finally complete, as the Norwegian sensation has arrived on loan from Real Madrid.
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Odegaard, 21, will join on an initial loan deal until the end of the 2020-21 season as Arsenal have acquired one of the top young attacking talents in the world.
Mikel Arteta has moved on Mesut Ozil, Sokratis and Sead Kolasinac permanently in January to make space for new arrivals with Mat Ryan coming in as a back-up goalkeeper and Odegaard now coming in to add to their creativity.
Odegaard credited Arteta’s vision as being a key part in him arriving in north London.
“I spoke to him before coming here, of course,” Odegaard said. “That was very important for me and he seems like a top manager and I liked his ideas, the way he sees football and also the way he is. He gave me a great feeling and that was important for me to come here. He was crucial. I think every time you go to a new place, you want to make sure that it feels good and that there is a plan.
“But I think everything here just seems good. I like the club and I always liked the way that the club wants to play. Everything about the club and now how the manager wants to play, I think it’s a club that really suits me well. So I think it’s a good match.”
Edu, Arsenal’s technical director, said that Odegaard is an “exceptional talent and we are strengthening our squad by introducing an exciting offensive player to the club for the remaining months of this season.”
Arteta added that Odegaard “will provide us with quality offensive options and we’re all excited to be integrating him into our plans between now and May.”
What will Odegaard bring to Arsenal?
His talent is undoubted and he flourished while on loan at Real Sociedad last season, creating goalscoring chances and linking midfield with attack elegantly and efficiently.
Odegaard will compete with Emile Smith Rowe for the starting spot as Arsenal’s No. 10, and he will get plenty of opportunities to prove himself in the Premier League.
After bursting onto the scene for Stromsgodset as a 15-year-old in Norway’s top-flight, Odegaard has found it tough going at Real Madrid but his loan spells at Heerenveen, Vitesse Arnhem and Real Sociedad has seen his development get back on track. This loan move to Arsenal is the biggest test of his career, and is the logical move to make after being a star at Sociedad.
At Arsenal his primary focus will be to get on the ball and link up with the likes of Bukayo Saka, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette in attack.
With Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka providing a solid base for Arsenal in midfield, Odegaard will be given the freedom to roam and create behind Arsenal’s forwards and that is a very, very good situation for him and the Gunners.