Arsenal are eyeing up a fresh transfer move for Real Madrid’s Martin Odegaard as they look to bolster their creative options this summer.
What’s the story?
The Norway international joined Mikel Arteta’s side on loan back in the January transfer window, but it had since been claimed in recent weeks that he would not be returning to the Emirates Stadium, instead looking to fight for his place at the Bernabeu.
Should Arsenal sign Odegaard?
However, Football.London have now claimed that the Gunners haven’t given up on making a late move for Odegaard, with a belief that Madrid would be open to offers for him.
Arsenal’s new Ozil
Described as a “phenomenon” by Norwegian football writer Lars Sivertsen, Odegaard is the kind of creative playmaker who appears to be tailor-made to come in and finally replace Mesut Ozil – another creator who came to the club from Real Madrid – at the Emirates.
Spanish football journalist Alvaro Montero said: “He’s very similar to Mesut Ozil, he’s left-footed, he plays extremely well between the lines and between the striker and the midfielders. Maybe he even has more goal threat than Mesut Ozil, but he travels a little less. He’s an amazing player and I think he’ll be an amazing player for Arsenal and for Mikel Arteta.”
Having seen him impress during his loan spell at the Emirates, Arteta himself lauded Odegaard’s ability and leadership, saying: “Well, he’s showing that I think from week one. The way he steps on the pitch, he always wants the ball, the way he commands the pressing. He’s been really influential.
“I think we’ve all been a bit surprised because he looks really shy and humble, but when he steps on that pitch he’s a real character and he loves to play football.”
While the Norwegian didn’t exactly set the world alight in his first few months with the Gunners, he showed more than enough, both with his creativity and off-the-ball work, to suggest that he could become a real star over a longer period.
As per WhoScored, Odegaard averaged 1.4 key passes per game in the Premier League, which was the joint-highest of any Arsenal player last season along with Emile Smith Rowe. His 0.9 dribbles per match put him in the top five, while his impressive 90.9% pass accuracy was good enough to place him second in the Gunners’ entire squad.
The £36m-rated star could finally arrive on a permanent deal and banish any lingering thoughts about Ozil at the Emirates.