Arsenal sign midfielder Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid
Arsenal signed Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid for the remainder of the season, the final career milestone for a player looking to keep the promise he made after making his international debut at 15 years old.
Odegaard has been at Madrid since 2015 – when he joined at the age of 16 – but failed to establish himself at the Spanish giant and had loan spells at Heerenveen and Vitesse Arnhem in the Netherlands, then at Real Sociedad last season.
Following Mesut Ozil’s departure for Fenerbahçe last week, Odegaard, 22, will compete in Arsenal’s attacking midfield department.
“Martin is, of course, a player we all know very well,” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said on Wednesday, “and although he’s still young he’s been playing at the top level for a while. Martin us will provide quality offensive options. “
Odegaard was the youngest player to feature in the Norwegian Premier League when he made his debut for Stromsgodset at age 15 in April 2014. He made his first senior international appearance the following August – as Norway’s youngest debutant – before joining Madrid five months later, when he was billed as one of the most talented youngsters in Europe.
He returned to Madrid this season but played sparingly under coach Zinedine Zidane, generally coming off the bench. He failed to establish himself as a regular starter in a talented Madrid side in midfield.
Odegaard has not scored a goal in nine appearances in all competitions with Madrid, who opted to bring him back from loan to Sociedad after thriving with the Basque Country club last season. He was a key part of the Sociedad squad which reached the Copa del Rey final and finished sixth in the Spanish league.
Emile Smith Rowe, 20, currently plays the role of No.10 at Arsenal under Arteta, who has been keen to promote youth since taking office in December 2019.