Martin Odegaard should complete his loan transfer to Arsenal on Monday, joining the Gunners from Real Madrid until May.
Spanish outlet ABC report that 22-year-old Martin Odegaard is just waiting on the official agreement between Arsenal and Real Madrid to join the Gunners on loan until the end of the season, without an option to buy.
According to the same outlet, Odegaard will leave for London on Monday.
The Athletic’s David Ornstein reported earlier this week that Arsenal’s attempt to sign Martin Odegaard on loan was ‘around 90% done and looking good’. Chris Wheatley confirmed that Arsenal are ‘closing in’ on the loan signing.
Edu reportedly spoke with the player’s father Hans and agent Bjorn Tore Kvarme, whilst Dani Ceballos has also played his part in helping to convince the midfielder.
Odegaard will be eligible to play for Arsenal immediately, assuming he returns a negative Covid test. The rules have changed since the summer and there’s no isolation period necessary for players in the elite sportsperson bubble.
The Real Madrid midfielder would be Arsenal’s third signing of the January window after youth defender Omar Rekik joined from Hertha BSC and Mat Ryan made the switch from Brighton.
How does Odegaard fit in?
Odegaard is a creative midfielder with excellent passing stats. He was in the top-10 for progressive passes and key passes in La Liga last season, as well as making the top-20 for passes into the final third.
Even better for Arsenal fans, Odegaard completed the third-most passes into the penalty area of any player in La Liga last season. If you exclude crosses, he was second behind Lionel Messi.
The most obvious place Odegaard fits in the team is as an alternative to Emile Smith Rowe at the number 10 position. Smith Rowe’s injury history means Arsenal can’t rely on him to play every game, they need rotation options.
However, Odegaard can also play out wide, or he could even pair up with Smith Rowe in midfield, as long as they had a defensive midfielder behind them. That system would be more likely in the games against the league’s lesser teams.
The one big negative worth mentioning is that Odegaard hasn’t played much at all this season. He’s made nine appearances for Real Madrid, and only five starts. His relationship with Zinedine Zidane seems rocky.
That’s why he’s pushing for a loan, but Arsenal will probably need to ease him into the action.
Last season, Odegaard scored seven goals and assisted nine in 36 appearances for Real Sociedad from midfield.