22-year-old Norway international Martin Odegaard joins Arsenal on a short-term deal filling the creativity gap left by Mesut Ozil.
The playmaker joins the North London Club until the end of the current season, providing them with much-needed creativity following the departure of Mesut Ozil.
In January, Odegaard requested to leave the Santiago Bernabeu due to a lack of first-team minutes so far this season. He has played only seven times in La Liga and is yet to complete 90 minutes for Madrid since returning from last season’s loan spell at Real Sociedad .
Sociedad had been linked with a move to take Odegaard back this month but a return became unlikely once Arsenal entered the race to sign him.
Odegaard revealed the role Arteta played in his decision, telling the club’s official website: “I spoke to him before coming here, of course. That was very important for me and he seems like a top manager and I liked his ideas, the way he sees football and also the way he is.
“He gave me a great feeling and that was important for me to come here. He was crucial.
“I think every time you go to a new place, you want to make sure that it feels good and that there is a plan. But I think everything here just seems good.
Odegaard has been handed the No.11 shirt by the Gunners, having worn the No.21 shirt at Madrid this season.
The No.11 shirt has been worn by some famous names at Arsenal during the Premier League era, including the likes of Marc Overmars, Robin van Persie, and Ozil, who sported that number before swapping to the No.10.
Odegaard could be in contention to make his debut in Saturday’s high-profile Premier League game against
Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium.
[Martin Odegaard. Photo/Courtesy].
Arteta will have to decide whether to throw Odegaard straight into his starting line-up for that fixture or start him on the substitutes’ bench, depending upon his fitness level.
Though Arsenal are out of the FA Cup after their 1-0 defeat to Southampton, the Europa League returns next month so the Gunners will need to rotate their squad.
With Nicolas Pepe and Willian failing to deliver on a consistent basis this season, Odegaard’s arrival will add an extra spark to Arsenal’s attack, while he is also versatile enough to play in several positions.