Arsenal confirm arrival of Martin Odegaard on loan as Real Madrid midfield star, 22, reveals how he used to love watching Cesc Fabregas as a kid and hails Mikel Arteta’s style of play
- Arsenal have now confirmed the arrival of Martin Odegaard on a loan deal
- The Norwegian has departed the Bernabeu after finding game-time difficult
- Mikel Arteta has stressed the need for more creativity in his senior ranks
- Real Sociedad, where he spent last season on loan, and Ajax wanted Odegaard
Arsenal have confirmed the arrival of Real Madrid starlet Martin Odegaard, on a loan deal running until the end of the season.
The 22-year-old selected the Emirates following a personal chat with manager Mikel Arteta, and turned down offers from rival clubs across Europe as a result.
Odegaard arrives after falling down the pecking order under Zinedine Zidane in the Spanish capital and seeing his game-time severely restricted, despite an impressive spell on loan with Real Sociedad last season.
The Norway international has taken the number 11 shirt at the Emirates.
Martin Odegaard has signed for Arsenal on loan until the end of the current season
The 22-year-old is set to go straight into the first team squad and has taken the No.11 shirt
With Sociedad Odegaard became one of the most creative players in La Liga and played a significant role in the team achieving a European-placed finish.
Sociedad were among the sides who were keen to take Odegaard on a fresh loan deal, along with Dutch champions Ajax.
Reports in Spain however claim Real were much more in favour of Arsenal’s offer, in order for their talented star to cut his teeth in the Premier League.
The Real Madrid youngster has chosen the Gunners over several other European options
Mikel Arteta (left) personally contacted the starlet to convince him on the Emirates move
Following the confirmation of the move, Arteta told Arsenal’s official website: ‘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.’
Gunners technical director Edu added: ‘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 joined Madrid from Stromgodset in January 2015, after being one of the most fiercely tracked teenagers in world football.
Odegaard was recalled by Zinedine Zidane this season but made just nine appearances
After making his debut in the Norwegian top flight aged just 15 and then featuring for the national team soon after, the elite of European football quickly queued up for his signature.
Odegaard had been courted by the likes of Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain before opting to move to the Spanish capital and realise a childhood dream with Madrid.
After returning from his Sociedad loan last summer, high expectations were placed upon Odegaard’s shoulders, though he has played only nine times for Real this season.
After starting the first two La Liga games of the season under Zidane, he has featured only once from the outset of a league game since – on 21 November.
In total this season Odegaard has featured seven times for Madrid in La Liga, and twice in the Champions League.