According to the latest reports, Arsenal are in deep negotiations with Real Madrid to seal a loan deal for midfielder Martin Odegaard. Hopefully, Edu Gasper and Mikel Arteta are working as hard to fill Arsenal’s midfield vacancy as the obsessive British press.
Since the departure of Mesut Ozil, every available and unavailable player has been mentioned with the role and it appears that Real Madrid are just about the only club in the known universe that have desirable midfielders to loan out at affordable prices. I’m getting fed up with the poor value represented by the ‘loan deal’. When did Arsenal do well out of any of the previous ones?
So with Isco already mentioned in dispatches (another second string ‘Real Madrider’), it’s now the turn of Martin Odegaard. Is it another example of a player who isn’t considered quite good enough for the Bernabeu Stadium or Professor Xavier lookalike Zinedine Zidane, then being farmed out to an English side?
The French boss seems to have an aversion to emerging talent or talent in general and tends to isolate it in some form of harsh character-building exercise reminiscent of the French foreign legion before passing on to a gullible club. That would be Arsenal then!
So, is it a credible story? Yes, sadly. I’m angry that a club of the size of Arsenal has allowed itself to get in this position and don’t go blaming the pandemic, this situation has been a long time in the making with the so called self-sustaining business model. Does it appear to be self-sustaining at any level? No, not really.
I’m not against the player himself, he looks to be a decent and skillful player with great balance, poise, and touch, but I remember that fans were saying the same about Dani Ceballos, and after two seasons, he still hasn’t mastered the Premier League or achieved the type of consistency that Arsenal require.
The fact that Arsenal are in the market again for a creative midfielder says everything you need to know about the Spaniard, who is continually reminding us of his intention to return home into the loving arms of Zidane. To be honest, his contribution has been minimal, only occasionally having an impact on games but not for a full 90 minutes and now that Thomas Partey has arrived, he looks less likely to be a regular name in the team sheet.
Is Martin Odegaard the right player? I’m not sure, there are better, more exciting options out there, but those will require substantial investment and that seems to be key. Buendia and Houssem Aouar are going to cost £40/£50m with sizeable deposits and Arsenal haven’t got those sums available.
The club seems to be indulging in a form of self-deception, harking back to the days when they had the reputation, clout, and cash to bring big players in but with Covid upon us, funds seem even tighter. The expected clear out hasn’t exactly bought in massive amounts of spare lolly. Ok, so they’ve jettisoned Ozil but it’s reportedly cost them £5m for the pleasure. Sokratis has left via mutual consent and Kolasinac is on loan to Schalke, so it’s starting to feel like the self-sustaining revolution is more hopeless than ever.
Rumour has it that Martin Odegaard has narrowed his options to two clubs, one of which is Arsenal. Let’s hope that there is an option to buy if he proves himself, don’t hold your breath! Perhaps, Arsenal’s squad could change every transfer window with a steady stream of unwanted Spanish players on loan. Yes, sarcasm is alive and well at AD.