As Martin Odegaard left Real Madrid for Arsenal, some parts of the Spanish media tried to paint him as a flop, but their tune is changing now.

NORWICH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Kieran Tierney of Arsenal celebrates with teammate Martin Odegaard after scoring his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Arsenal at Carrow Road on December 26, 2021 in Norwich, England. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images)
NORWICH, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 26: Kieran Tierney of Arsenal celebrates with teammate Martin Odegaard after scoring his team’s second goal during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Arsenal at Carrow Road on December 26, 2021 in Norwich, England. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images)

With a man-of-the-match performance against Norwich on Boxing Day, Martin Odegaard is purring on the pitch.

During his recent absence through injury, and then his short spell on the bench as he got back to full fitness, some in Spain’s media suggested that the Norwegian was flopping at Arsenal.

That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Now, after his involvement in three of Arsenal’s five goals against the Canaries, Marca asks the question – Were Real Madrid right to let him go?

They write, “Arsenal have put faith in him, giving him a deal which runs until 2026, while Real Madrid didn’t show any real willing to keep him in Spain.

“Arteta has shown he trusts Odegaard, and many other young players for that matter, and his youthful Arsenal side are really enjoying their football at the moment and, importantly, delivering on the pitch.

“With how he’s performing at the moment, you have to wonder if Real Madrid made a mistake letting him go 12 months ago.”

This season, Odegaard has four goals and three assists in 17 games.

The last time he scored more than four in a season was when he netted eight (in 31 appearances) on loan with Vitesse Arnhem.

21 August 2021

Spanish media turn on Martin Odegaard for leaving Real Madrid

Martin Odegaard is receiving the same treatment from the Real Madrid-friendly press in Spain as Mesut Ozil did when he left the club for Arsenal.

martin odegaard
Martin Odegaard

Arsenal announced the signing of Martin Odegaard on Friday morning and it took no time at all for some sites and papers in Spain to start blathering on that Odegaard didn’t have what it takes to stay and fight for his place at Real Madrid.

In fact, some had even started it before Arsenal made their announcement.

They believe that Odegaard should have stayed and fought for a place, regardless of what his time there has told us all about how Real Madrid plan to use him.

When Odegaard was sent on loan to Arsenal in January, reports in Spain bemoaned the fact that he wouldn’t be around should Real Madrid pick up a host of injuries.

The truth is, they don’t think he didn’t want to fight, they are just p**sed that a player wanted to leave Real Madrid and they’ve been stripped of an option.

Odegaard returned to Real Madrid this summer with every intention of making a name for himself there. He wanted a first team spot and, if Carlo Ancelotti had shown any intention of giving one to him at some point in the near future, then he would not have left for Arsenal.

After six years as a Real Madrid player, Martin Odegaard, who moved from Strømsgodset for £2.52m as a 16-year-old, how much longer was he expected to wait?

Over the course of his Real Madrid career, Odegaard played more games for Arsenal (20 vs 11).

They gave him a total of 489 minutes, only 264 of which were in La Liga.

Contrast these claims after it was announced Odegaard is now an Arsenal player with what they were saying when he returned to Real Madrid.

Odegaard reportedly ‘dazzled’ in Real Madrid training and was ‘stronger than ever’ following his Arsenal loan.

Now, he’s apparently signed for a club in Arsenal where he will face ongoing struggles.

Defensa Central reported that Odegaard was the standout player in Real Madrid training when they returned at the start of July, dazzling those watching.

Still, it wasn’t enough and Odegaard wasn’t even given a squad number ahead of Real Madrid’s opening league game.

After six years, what more did they expect Odegaard to do?

It’s worth noting that the Daily Mail seized on this opportunity to slate Arsenal.

In addition to their three pages of anti-Arsenal content in their Saturday edition, they also published a piece, based one one of the articles mentioned above, to do an article that opened:

Martin Odegaard ‘wanted to STAY at Real Madrid’ but ‘expected a red carpet to a first-team place’… before boss Carlo Ancelotti handed Arsenal’s £30m buy an exit after telling him there were EIGHT players fighting for his position

  • Martin Odegaard sealed a £30m transfer from Real Madrid to Arsenal this week
  • The 22-year-old has left Real after seven years of failing to make the first team 
  • Odegaard reportedly wanted a red carpet at Real after his Arsenal loan last term
  • Carlo Ancelotti told the Norwegian there were eight players in his midfield role
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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.