Martin Odegaard was advised to sign for Arsenal by his national teammate and Everton forward, Joshua King.
Speaking to the media, NRK reported King as saying, “When I saw the rumour about Arsenal, I sent him a message and said: “You have to go to Arsenal”.
“He replied, “Are you sure? Are you sure?” – I was so sure. Arsenal’s style of play and Martin… I have friends who have played for Arsenal, and I know a little how the club is. In my head, I think it suited him well.”
Whether Arsenal can keep Odegaard for longer than this season is still very much up in the air. With a reported €350m release clause, that’s clearly off the table, but Real Madrid and the player need to make a decision about his future sooner rather than later.
After opening his goal account for Arsenal against Olympiacos in the Europa League just a few days before, Martin Odegaard announced himself in London with his first Premier League goal, helping Arsenal to beat Spurs.
He was the subject of immense praise after that match (which hasn’t died down since), coming from all quarters.
Mikel Arteta gushed, “He’s got a real stamina and he’s so talented, but his work-rate is incredible.
“Not only that, he’s intelligent. The timing of his runs, when he presses, his body shape. I’m really impressed and he had an incredible performance today. He’s giving us something different and it’s making us better.”
This was the line that the press in Spain picked up upon, noting Odegaard’s impressive 96.6% pass accuracy and that “the Norwegian, who is a delicate organiser, responded to each confrontation by transforming into a bulldog that chased the ball until his last breath.”
But it was what they read in the Telegraph that seemed to entertain them just as much.
“If Mesut Ozil ever finds himself thinking about the final few months of his Arsenal career and wondering where it all went wrong for him under Mikel Arteta, he would do well to seek out the last 10 minutes of this weekend’s north London derby,” Sam Dean muses in a piece you should check out (linked above).
“Ozil will recognise many of the qualities of the player in his old position. When Arsenal have the ball, he will see an artistic left-footed playmaker who plays with the same grace and vision as he did for years at the Emirates.
“But then, if he watches closely, he will also see what changes when possession is lost. Martin Odegaard may be an artist like Ozil, but he can also be an animal.”
Arsenal are keen to bring Martin Odegaard back for next season, whether that’s on loan or a permanent deal, according to reports.
The Daily Mail claim Arsenal are keen for Martin Odegaard to remain with Arsenal next season, regardless of the nature of the deal to bring him back. Mikel Arteta is impressed with the player’s performances so far.
The Mail added that a potential deal will largely depend on finances available to Arsenal, which will, in turn, depend on whether they qualify for Europe. But right now it’s something Arteta wants the club to pursue.
The Mirror reported that there’s “a will on both sides” to turn the Odegaard loan signing into a permanent deal. The use of “both sides” presumably means that both Arsenal and Odegaard are keen because there’s no suggestion Real Madrid want to sell.
Once again, the Mirror added that Arsenal would need to qualify for Europe to have their best bet at signing the 22-year-old.
Odegaard has hinted that he’d like a return to Arsenal, admitting he’s happy with the club and wants some ‘stability’ with whatever’s next in his footballing career. But if Real offered him that same stability from now on, it would make things more difficult.
There won’t be any decisions made before the end of the season. For the time being, Odegaard just needs to focus on building on his two goals and superb performances in the last week of football.