Martin Odegaard and Arsenal have finally agreed for the Norwegian’s signature for a whopping amount of 34 million pounds. Odegaard had previously enjoyed a stint at the Emirates before leaving for Real Madrid after his loan spell ended in North London.
Welcome høme, Martin Ødegaard 👋🇳🇴 pic.twitter.com/OUlG9YGDKj
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 20, 2021
But since Ancelotti doesn’t see Odegaard as a long-term option, the Los Blancos midfielder agreed to return to the Premier League. If Arsenal are to return to the quality and levels expected of them, Odegaard will be a quintessential asset for Mikel Arteta. In his short stint, he proved why he could be Ozil’s long-term replacement at the Emirates.
As Odegaard permanently joins the Gunners, we at FootTheBall grade the Norwegian’s shift from Los Blancos to the Gunners.
Turn back the clock, and you would find how a young 15-year-old Norwegian captivated the whole world with his staggering outings. In his first appearance for boyhood club Stromsgodset, the young prodigy gave defenders a hard time with his swashbuckling tricks and electrifying darts towards the opponents’ goal mouth.
Destined to become the torch-bearer of Norway’s golden generation along with Erling Haaland, Martin Odegaard was soon donning the prestigious white jersey at Santiago Bernabeu. Unfortunately, the 22-year-old couldn’t leave a mark for Los Blancos and fell out of favour with French manager Zinedine Zidane.
But since the midfield sensation moved to the Emirates, he has finally restored his form. Mikel Arteta gave the Norwegian opportunities to showcase his talent in North London and the world was impressed during his short stint at the club.
"….I think maybe it's meant to be." #Odegaard #AFC pic.twitter.com/zNcDf4TYIJ
— ArsenalNews24 (@afc24news) August 18, 2021
Odegaard is a great, technically talented aggressive midfielder with exceptional ability and awareness. He is lethal when he is sent in behind a target man, which appears to be his favourite position.
He breaks down low-block defences with his vision and perfectly timed deliveries complemented with the Norwegians’ electrifying gallops into the opposition’s goal-mouth. When Odegaard is dictating the game, he possesses a high level of intelligence and comprehension but even when the opposition is controlling the flow the Norwegian knows how to tackle the situation in a composed manner.
VALUE FOR MONEY
According to the reports, the Gunners are signing a cheque of 34 million pounds to acquire Odegaard’s service. The quality of the youngster might suggest that this is a bargain but considering Arsenal’s situation splashing 34 million might not perfectly suit them.
When Odegaard left for Madrid this summer it was crucial to see if Carlo Ancelotti would keep the Norwegian midfielder in his plans for the summer. But with his absence from the squad that faced Alaves and the abundance of midfielders already present in Ancelotti’s roster, Madrid was ready to offload Odegaard.
And Arsenal’s persistent queries about Odegaard might have forced Florentino Perez to use the youngster as a way to increase Madrid’s wealth during the time of financial crisis. While Odegaard might become a star at Emirates, 34 million for Odegaard could be considered a hasty decision by the Gunners. While Ben White was also a costly purchase, the money in Odegaard’s transfer could be used elsewhere and the 22-year-old can be acquired on a loan deal.
Back with us 😍
✍️ Welcome, Martin
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 20, 2021
The Gunners could have invested their funds in a goalkeeper (someone like Emiliano Martinez) as they still look for a permanent and trustworthy man guarding their frame. But Odegaard’s presence could reduce the pressure of Xhaxa’s and Saka’s shoulders with the duo expected to perform week in and week out at the Emirates.
FIT AT THE CLUB
Odegaard must be aware of life under Mikel Arteta after enjoying half a season at the Emirates. Although the 22-year-old racked up a single goal and 2 assists during his tenure, he was influential in dictating Arsenal’s midfield.
Arsenal has constantly looked to replace German midfielder Mesut Ozil since his abrupt departure and Odegaard could perfectly justify the bracket. His rocket of a strike against Olympiacos in the Europa League was just a glimpse of the promise surrounding the Norwegian.
Martin Ødegaard vs. Olympiacos:
-4 key passes
-5/6 ground duels won
-1/1 long ball
-90.5% passing accuracy
-2/2 successful dribbles completed@Shaharyarsays analyzes Ødegaard:https://t.co/qX2uaB57zZ pic.twitter.com/50RRinO4ki
— Breaking The Lines (@BTLvid) March 11, 2021
Worth mentioning is the fact that Arsenal’s dressing room is looking for a leader who could take control of the pack. The senior players haven’t been influential and the captain’s armband hasn’t found itself a permanent sleeve. Martin Odegaard is the captain of his national outfit and knows the art of leading a young team to glory.
Official and confirmed. Albert Sambi Lokonga joins Arsenal on a permanent deal for €17.5m + €4.5m add ons. Contract until June 2026. Number 23. ⚪️🔴 #AFC
Next one: Ben White, done deal to be announced in the next days after medicals. £50m to Brighton, personal terms agreed.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 19, 2021
With new signing Albert Sambi Lokonga and veteran Swiss captain Granit Xhaxa handling defensive duties he could bring the attacking flair alongside Smith Rowe, Pepe, Martinelli, and Saka.
Returning to a familiar outfit and adjusting to it shouldn’t trouble Martin Odegaard considering he has a point to prove to the world. After Haaland justified his worth on the biggest stage, Odegaard would be looking to replicate his fellow international teammate.
The Norwegian could march into Arteta’s eleven considering the situation the club is in right now. Losing to Brentford in their opening game, the Gunners have a point to prove this summer under Arteta. Although the Premier League has just kicked off, Arsenal still has a long ride in front of them.
Thank you everyone for being so supportive.We knew that there were expectations and this trophy is for you.There is still a long way to go of improving on many things,but I’m very proud of the fantastic players and the staff.Again, thank you so much for the support and belief pic.twitter.com/A4ejHMIfPZ
— Mikel Arteta (@m8arteta) August 1, 2020
If Odegaard reaches his full potential then the Gunners could remain in the ‘Big 6’ debate otherwise it might be difficult to pick up a club that has gone from ‘Invincibles’ to ‘Invisibles’. The goal-scoring duo of Lacazette and Aubameyang could perform magnificently well if Odegaard once again unlocks defence with his staggering passes and thunders a few magnificent strikes at the Emirates.
Real Madrid’s benchwarmer could become the Premier League’s leading midfielder if he turns up a notch before arriving at the Emirates.