Arsenal have signed Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard on loan until the end of the season. The Norwegian 22-year-old has long been touted as one of the most talented prospects in European football and will now have the chance to show it on the Premier League stage after agreeing to the move, which will cost Arsenal a £2.5m fee on top of the player’s salary.
Odegaard was interested in joining Spanish club Real Sociedad, but Real Madrid are thought to have preferred Arsenal as a proving ground and Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was able to persuade him that the Emirates would provide the perfect challenge.
"I spoke to him before coming here, of course," Odegaard, who will wear No11, told Arsenal.com. "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. I like the club and I always liked the way that the club wants to play. Everything about the club and now how the manager wants to play, I think it's a club that really suits me well. So I think it's a good match."
Arteta said: “It’s great that we’ve secured Martin to come to us until the end of the season. Martin is of course a player that we all know very well and although still young, he has been playing at the top level for a while. Martin will provide us with quality offensive options and we’re all excited to be integrating him into our plans between now and May.”
Edu, the club’s technical director, Edu added: “We are delighted to welcome Martin to the club until the end of the season. I would like to thank everyone at Real Madrid and Martin’s representatives for their collaboration in making this loan move happen. Martin is an exceptional talent and we are strengthening our squad by introducing an exciting offensive player to the club for the remaining months of this season.”
Odegaard could now feature in Arsenal’s next game, at home against Manchester United on Saturday.