Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Martin Odegaard from Spanish giants Real Madrid for £30 million.
The Norwegian international was left out of Real Madrid squad for their first Laliga games of the season against Deportivo Alaves last weekend. Manager Carlo Ancellotti revealed that he left Odegaard out of the squad because he has 8 important players in his position, despite publicly stating his desire to keep the Norwegian at Madrid this season.
Odegaard spent the second half of last season on loan at Arsenal and the Gunners have always reiterate their interest in signing the player permanently if Real Madrid are willing to negotiate a transfer.
Arsenal have been in the market all summer for an attacking, creative midfielder all summer. Leicester City's James Maddison, Barcelona's Phillipe Coutinho and Lyon's Houssem Auoar have all been linked with a move to the Emirate this summer, but Martin Odegaard has always been the club's number one priority for the attacking midfield role after an impressive loan spell with the club last season.
Odegaard scored 1 goal in 14 Premier League appearances and recorded 2 assists. These are extremely low numbers for an attacking midfielder, especially for an Arsenal team that lack goals from midfield.
So, this bags the question, will Martin Odegaard solve Arsenal creativity problems?
Arsenal are coming off one of their worst seasons in the Premier League last year, where they failed to qualify for European football for the first time in over 22 years. But they managed to improve their performance in the latter stages of the season.
Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard's creative spark contributed significantly to this improvement. Many fans are concerned that signing the Norway captain will stifle Smith Rowe's development. They have, however, previously played together.
Smith Rowe is more of a wide receiver, whilst Odegaard is more of a classic number ten. In the middle of the pitch, he has complete freedom of movement. It brings an extra element of inventiveness to the team when they both work together.
The Norwegian's passing skill is regarded as among the best in the world. With his sharp passing, he frequently breaches the lines. With his progressive passes, he is always thinking ahead. His ability to dribble past challenges is another impressive aspect of his game.
Odegaard isn't the fastest, yet he breezes past opponents with ease. Because Arteta likes to play from the back, this feature of his game can be very useful in avoiding the opposition's press.
Odegaard is a master at delivering set pieces. During his loan period, he was assigned the task of taking corners, which he excelled at. He also disguises a through pass to generate shooting possibilities for himself at the boundary of the 18-yard box. Before releasing a devastating shot, he cuts inside to his favoured left foot.
His defensive abilities are on par with his offensive abilities. He is willing to track back for his side and reclaim possession in key parts of the field. He's a fantastic fit for Arteta's system. It's no surprise that the Spaniard wanted to keep his services.
Despite a poor first half of the 2020/2021 season, Arsenal were the third best team in the Premier League after Martin Odegaard arrival in January only behind Manchester City and Manchester United.
One aspect of Odegaard's work that isn't discussed is his off-the-ball work. We know he can play between the lines and make incisive passes, but his pressing style must appeal to Mikel Arteta as well.
For £30m, Martin Ødegaard is a top signing in terms of value for quality. At the age of 22, Odegaard can only improve as the season progresses and this signing could be the start of a great rejuvenation for Arsenal.
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