Martin Odegaard has travelled to London to complete his loan transfer from Real Madrid to Arsenal, holding his medical on Monday.
According to various outlets, including Goal, Martin Odegaard flew into England on Sunday evening, ahead of his medical on Monday morning. He’ll spend the rest of the season with Arsenal after his parent club Real Madrid reached an agreement with the Gunners.
Fabrizio Romano reports Real have signed all the necessary paperwork and contracts, so it’s just a matter of passing the medical now.
The Times claim Arsenal will pay a £1.8m loan fee for the midfielder. They’ll also cover his wage of £38,000 a week, bringing the total cost of the deal to around £2.6m. There won’t be an option to buy in the contract.
Writing on Instagram, Romano added that Mikel Arteta’s call was key in the player’s decision. Real Sociedad were initially his priority, then he changed his mind after Arsenal joined the race.
Given the medical should be done this morning, with all the contract details already sorted, we’ll then only need the club to complete their usual interviews and photos before the announcement. It’s looking likely we could get it later today.
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.