Martin Odegaard played on loan for Arsenal last season but right now he has joined the Gunners permanently. Arsenal have completed a £34m deal for Martin Odegaard that takes their summer spending north of £100m. Arsenal are also on the verge of sealing a £30m deal for the Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, who underwent a medical on Thursday, and Arteta remains keen to add further to his squad before the end of the month.
Martin Odegaard 🤝 London Colney
Back home 🏡 pic.twitter.com/6GpX9hOSBo
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 20, 2021
Arteta said the Norway midfielder “made us better” last season and provides creativity but the Arsenal manager is hopeful of further bolstering his squad.
“There are still 11 days to go and we still have things to do,” Arteta said.
“There are going to be players at the moment, the way the squad is set up that it is going to be difficult to find game time [for]. There are things to be done.”
Odegaard found himself becoming a transfer priority for Arsenal this summer having spent the second half of last season on loan with the north London club.
But keen to realize his Real Madrid dream six years after arriving in the Spanish capital as football’s next big thing, Odegaard made it clear where his future lay early in the summer.
“Of course it has always been a dream to play there,” he said of Real Madrid.
“I have been in the club for over six years now, and that has always been the goal. I always want to play, I have said that all the time. Playing hard is important.”
Martin Ødegaard has always been Arsenal priority… and now the deal is set to be completed, confirmed! Talks at final stages and here-we-go soon! ⚪️🔴 #AFC
Ødegaard will re-join Arsenal on permanent deal. Fee to be decided in the next hours. Contract until June 2026. 🤝🇳🇴 pic.twitter.com/bq6ucdxI1N
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 17, 2021
Fast-forward a month or so and Odegaard is not all that far away from where he found himself when he requested a January loan move to Arsenal.
Odegaard thought he would get an opportunity last season having put together one of the best individual seasons in La Liga across the previous campaign with Real Sociedad, racking up seven goals and nine assists across all competitions.
He gave the impression that he could fit in the Los Blancos plans and joined them in the following season, but sadly, Odegaard failed to cut a satisfactory figure.
Odegaard flourishes more as a number 10 and relishes the central positions and for which Real Madrid needed to switch 4-2-3-1 formation. Zidane even tried that option, but Odegaard never really shined and Zidane had to shun that. In Real Madrid, Odegaard never really showed the champion-like intent that Los Blancos always demanded.
Again, Ancelotti will stick to the 4-3-3, and the three midfield spaces will almost certainly be given to Casemiro, Toni Kroos, and Luka Modric.
🗣"He made us better last season. We needed options and alternatives in these positions. He has good experience and I’m delighted.”
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta reacts to the signing of Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid. pic.twitter.com/YIwJCBIunq
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) August 20, 2021
Odegaard will once again find himself on the periphery, trying to break in, and he knows he can skip that step at Arsenal, where he would become a near-guaranteed starter.
When you don the white shirt, you need to realize what the champions of the past had to do for it and successes in a club like Real Madrid don’t come easily because you have to compete with the best and become the best.
There would be fewer options to enjoy the bulk of the ball and lead the midfield alongside players like Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, thus there would two options available – either you elevate yourself to their level or join some other club where you would enjoy more control over the ball at the center of the park.
Martin Odegaard (2020/21) – Passing Compilation
Maddison would 100% tear his gluteus medius if he attempted these. pic.twitter.com/CvYOK3IubR
— køaø (@Kayy_Eh) August 13, 2021
Odegaard chose the latter option and in a sense, it has been a pretty sensible decision.
There is no point in warming the bench and fight for your position in the starting XI, rather, it would be much better to enjoy enough playing time in clubs like Arsenal, who are struggling to get their act together and would give a talent like Odegaard enough preference.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid would not be at a loss with the departure of Odegaard, rather, they have earned in this crucial time which they would be able to spend in the future. Moreover, the exit of Odegaard would help Ancelotti and Real Madrid think tank work freely because there would be zero pressure from media and critics regarding Odegaard hype.