According to Fabrizio Romano, Real Madrid have sold Martin Odegaard to Arsenal for €35 million. The transfer sees Odegaard move back to North London, after a short-loan spell with the club in the latter part of last season. After an unimpressive start to the new Premier League season, suffering a 2-0 defeat to Brentford, Arsenal will be hoping that Odegaard gives some much needed creativity in front of goal.
Martin Odegaard Completes Arsenal Move
Odegaard Ostracized by Madrid
It was clear that the Norweigan midfielder had no future with ‘Los Blancos’. After his time with Arsenal, he looked to try establish himself in the side over pre-season. However, under Carlo Ancelotti it was apparent that he was surplus to requirements. After that decision was made, a return to Arsenal was always a possibility. The North London side made no hiding of their need to bring in creative players, and were linked with Leicester City’s James Maddison for much of the summer.
Since Odegaard became available, the move transpired quickly. It is a transfer that will please some fans, who took a liking to the midfielder last season. However, more focus will be on how the side bounce back after a torrid first game of the new season. Odegaard will be looking forward to playing again in a club that he feels valued at. His number 21 at Real Madrid was given to Brazilian Rodrygo earlier this summer, highlighting just how little the midfielder was valued in Madrid.
Arteta Has His Man
Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta, will be happy to have Odegaard back at the Emirates. At the end of last season, when asked about the possibility to bring the Norweigan back to Arsenal, Arteta said: “We’ve tried to make everything that we could to get Martin performing for the team, which I think he’s done, and he has adapted really well to our way of playing and to our football club. Hopefully we have given him the hope and the feeling that this could be a good place for him.” That faith has been restored by Odegaard, who has chosen Arsenal as his next destination.
At times, when playing for Arsenal, Odegaard reminded all of his ability. In and around the box he was bright and always looked to create. He made 20 appearances in total, scoring twice. His first goal came against Olympiakos in a 3-1 away win in the Europa League; a hit from 20-yards out. In the next match, against Tottenham Hotspur, Odegaard scored again. This time, in a 2-1 win, the Norweigan made a name for himself at Arsenal by scoring in the North London derby. These performances earned him the club’s Player of the Month award in March 2021.
Is Martin Odegaard the Answer?
Only time will tell whether or not Arsenal were right to choose Odegaard instead of Maddison. One thing is certain, Arteta is trying to fill his dressing room with people he can trust. Following a questionable contract extension for former captain, Granit Xhaka, many questions of Arsenal remain. One of them being: why are they so toothless in attack? During his time at Arsenal last season, Odegaard was regarded as a ‘holder of keys’ whose role was to stand up defences and try to find a gap to exploit with a precise pass. Something which, to his credit, he looked more than capable of doing, which explains his return.
Others will suggest that this move is not the one Arsenal should be pursuing right now. Without a back-up goalkeeper of the quality needed to step in, should Bernd Leno get injured, fans are calling for a new recruit. The side have been heavily linked with Aaron Ramsdale of Sheffield United. With the current number two being the Icelandic, Rúnar Rúnarsson, they need an experienced goalkeeper alternative. Also, in defence, they look set to lose Héctor Bellerín, who has made his desire to leave known to Arsenal. After starting Calum Chambers at right-back against Brentford, they need an established fullback to come in and replace the departing Spaniard. Even with the completion of the Martin Odegaard deal, it looks like there will be plenty more movement still to come at the Emirates this summer.
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