(written by Morgan Harvey)
Martin Ødegaard has officially joined Arsenal on a loan deal lasting 6 months, there is currently no buy option in his contract, however, both Real Madrid and Arsenal are expected to communicate again in the summer over a potential purchase depending on how well the Norwegian international plays.
On face value, the loan deal seems ideal for The Gunners considering their budget. Arsenal are expected to pay an estimated £3million in wages for Ødegaard which in this case is a low-risk manoeuvre, considering his talents.
The creative midfielder has never been able to find regular football in Madrid with Los Blancos boss, Zidane, preferring a midfield trio of Luka Modric, Casemiro and Toni Kroos, which does not facilitate a natural no.10 position for Ødegaard to fill.
Ødegaard has been sent out on loan on multiple occasions with his most successful stint being his time in Holland, he produced an impressive 23 G/A in 39 games in one of his seasons; however, he was still unable to force himself into Zidane’s plans and instead was sent out on loan to Spanish rival Real Sociedad. Ødegaard’s time playing at the Anoeta stadium was a successful one also , achieving 16 G/A.
With the Norwegian only receiving a total of 367 minutes this season, it has forced him to look elsewhere to receive the game time he desires. There were various teams interested in his signature, however, it was a Mikel Arteta phone call that convinced him Arsenal was the place to be.
Arsenal have currently been struggling to create goals and chances, even with the emergence of Emile Smith Rowe, and they are still in need of someone else who can rotate with the Hale End graduate and relieve some of the pressure he currently has weighed upon him.
This move is perfect for both parties as Ødegaard can operate in various positions including attacking midfield, off the right and as a number eight. In Ødegaard’s recent season for Sociedad, he operated as either an attacking midfielder or as an inside forward enabling him to cut in on his favoured left foot and break the lines, something The Gunners have struggled with this season, especially against low blocks that are deployed by teams such as Burnley and Crystal Palace.
If you were to compare the playmaker to any current player you’d have to consider Ozil as one of these, with both players having a creative influence on the field and being primarily left-footed. These players are also a relatively similar height being 5’10 and 5’11 as well as being able to offer options from wide positions. The key difference between the players is that Ødegaard is a lot faster and stronger which is more a desirable trait for Arteta who enforces a workhorse mentality.
The player will fit Arsenal’s system well and should push the side forward. Gooners should be excited by this signing as it could potentially be the long-term replacement to Arsenal legend Ozil.