According to reports, Arsenal have completed the loan signing of Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid. The Norwegian midfielder made his desire known to move away from the club for the remainder of the season to play regular first team football, having played just nine times for Real Madrid so far this campaign.
The Spanish club held talks with the midfielder and wanted him to join the North London club over other suitors. According to Spanish football expert Guillem Balaguer, Real Madrid have blocked a potential return for the player to Real Sociedad, the club where he enjoyed a successful loan spell last season and registered seven goals alongside nine assists, helping the club to an excellent sixth-place finish in La Liga.
Real Madrid cut short his two-year loan spell last summer but have failed to provide him with the regular minutes his talents and abilities deserve. It’s clear the reason for this action taken by the defending Spanish champions is because of Real Sociedad’s success so far this campaign as they currently sit in sixth place, seven points off Real Madrid and they certainly don’t want to strengthen a fellow La Liga club currently making waves so far this season.
Martin Odegaard has chosen to move across to London, with Arsenal confirming the loan deal on their website. A deal that could provide just the tonic Mikel Arteta needs to transform and continue his side’s development this season. With Mesut Ozil departing to join Fenerbache in Turkey, the Gunners require a creative outlet, a position that has so far failed them this season.
? Welcome to The Arsenal, Martin Odegaard! ??
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) January 27, 2021
Academy product Emile Smith Rowe, who has taken on the role in the last few weeks, has proven a key component in Arsenal’s recent impressive revival, providing three assists in 5 games as Arsenal look to push on for the second half of the season.
It is clear though, that Smith Rowe cannot do it on his own despite his incredible influence in Arsenal’s recent attacking displays, a run that has seen them pick up 5 wins from 6 games in the Premier League since their defeat to Everton before Christmas.
Help and depth are needed in the creative department and that’s where Martin Odegaard may well prove the perfect addition and solution to the chance creation weaknesses for Arsenal. The Norwegian wonderkid is a creative phenomenon and that was evident during his loan spell at Real Sociedad last season where he formed a devastating partnership with Spanish playmaker Mikel Oyarzabal.
The 22-year-old has all the makings and tools to become a future great in the game, to become one of the best creative players of his generation. Technique, vision, passing, chance creation, and a stupendous left-foot, Martin Odegaard will instantly demand the attention of many in the Premier League these next six months. He desperately needs game time, minutes that would aid his development and learning that has somewhat stalled at Real Madrid due to Zinedine Zidane’s lack of faith in youth.
Martin Ødegaard in LaLiga during the 2019-20 season:
◉ Most possession won in the final ⅓
◎ 2nd-most through balls
◎ 3rd-most passes into the box
◎ 3rd-most xA
◎ 6th-most chances created@CJSmith91 looks at whether he's the right answer to Mikel Arteta's question…
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 22, 2021
The midfielder ranked third for expected assists in La Liga last season (6.81), sixth for chances created (62), second for through ball attempts (19). He’s a luxurious player, one who is very well versed in the ability to take up a position in between the lines of an opponent’s midfield and defence, link play and create endless opportunities for his forwards.
Last season, Odegaard recorded a staggering 2.14 key passes, 5.02 final third passes, and a whopping 7.22 progressive passes per 90 for Real Sociedad, highlighting his incredible influence in attack and devastating creative edge.
Odegaard is a player blessed with such remarkable versatility, he’s very effective from anywhere across the midfield and attack, regularly lining up for Sociedad from a number 8 position, but also at no.10 and on the right-wing. Wherever he ends up playing for Arsenal, he’ll still hold the understanding and nous to create chances for his teammates as well as fashioning chances for himself.
The Norwegian midfielder is devastating from set-piece situations too, whether an indirect free-kick or a direct one, his admirable qualities in whipping in delicious deliveries from corners and free-kicks as well as having the capabilities to score from them could prove such a vital and valuable weaponry for Mikel Arteta at the Emirates.
With Arsenal confirming the signing of the Norwegian midfielder, they might have secured one of their best ever loan deals to date. Martin Odegaard is a player of incredible quality and class, a player that Mikel Arteta surely feels can take the club to that next level.
The Norwegian hasn’t been provided with the opportunities at Real Madrid, with Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Federico Valverde all vying for the same position and a loan move to Arsenal is a fantastic deal for both parties. Arteta holds a young growing squad at his disposal and Odegaard represents the perfect addition to what could well be a very good squad capable of having a much better second half of the season.