Arsenal have agreed to loan Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard until the end of the season – but what brings the one-off prodigy to the Emirates Stadium and where will he fit into Mikel Arteta’s side?

The Norwegian international is now 22 years old but made headlines in 2015 when he was signed by Real at the age of 16. Comparisons with Lionel Messi have been made about his skills.

Although his career has not been as successful as Messi’s, his development has made some encouraging strides in recent years and Arteta and Arsenal supporters will be excited to see what he can produce in the Premier League.

Here we take a look at some of the most important questions about the switch …

Why is Real Madrid loaning Odegaard to Arsenal?

Odegaard has been on loan for Heerenveen, Vitesse and Real Sociedad since joining Real Madrid.

After an impressive 2019/20 season at Sociedad, he was called back to his parents’ club for this campaign to become a key figure in Zinedine Zidane’s XI. Despite a promising start, however, he has fallen out of favor and had been pushed for a loan spell to earn more playing time and continue his development.

It is believed that Odegaard’s first preference would have been a return to Sociedad, but with Real favoring a move outside the league, Arsenal have struck capital.

Terry Gibson on Transfer Talk Podcast:

“It was instigated by the player. He proved his qualifications at Real Sociedad last season – he was one of the standout players of the entire La Liga season. It was not so much of a surprise that Real Madrid took him back; the The surprise was that he did so well – I think that surprised Real Madrid – it was an easy decision to bring him back.

“But the relationship with Zidane wasn’t perfect. There was an improvement at the beginning – he played and did well at the beginning of the season and there was a position for him in the system.

“But things got mad and he disappeared. There were a minor injury or two but most of the time it’s because Zidane didn’t pick him.

“I think it’s Odegaard who insists he doesn’t want to sit on the bench at Real Madrid. He doesn’t want to be another reliable squad player. He sees himself as a star and sees the way there as a regular and regular game.” he showed what he can do in Sociedad. “

What will Odegaard bring to Arsenal?


The Spanish football journalist Alvaro Montero sees in Martin Odegaard a good replacement for Mesut Ozil

Terry Gibson on Transfer Talk Podcast:

“He’s an attacking midfielder – don’t expect too much defense! He’s a player who can open a strong defense and he’s a player who has the quality to play regularly for Real Madrid. He’s so good.”

“Would he fit in with Arsenal and the Premier League? I think he would. He’s a really good player. I think he has the quality to play for one of the big clubs in the Premier League.”

Sky Sports’ Peter Smith:

“What will Odegaard bring to the Premier League? Well, hype, hope and a lot of media attention to start with.

“He caught the attention of the football world in 2015 when Real Madrid won the race for his signature a month after his 16th birthday – and interest in the now 22-year-old will rekindle.”

“Back then, there were no limits to what Odegaard would do at the Bernabeu – but his progress, disappointing perhaps to some, has been quieter since then as the gradual progression of a midfielder took shape.

“Patience is paying off now though. After an overwhelming 18-month loan period with Heerenveen, Odegaard had an outstanding season at Vitesse in 2018/19. He had more chances than any other player in the Dutch top division and was third on the supported chart for Dusan Tadic and Hakim Ziyech.

“He backed it up with an impressive season at Real Sociedad last year when he scored double-digit goals and was recalled to Real Madrid as a result.”

“Whilst it was ultimately difficult to find a way into Zidane’s lineup, Arsenal will now have a classy creator, a passing master and an attacking midfielder with a delicate touch and a bright awareness of the game.”

“Odegaard will cause a stir both on and off the pitch.”

Where will Odegaard fit in?


Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says the club are reviewing options in the January window

Nick Wright from Sky Sports:

“Emile Smith Rowe has brought a dash of creativity since joining the Arsenal team last month, producing three assists in five Premier League games from the 10th position once occupied by the soon-to-be-retired Mesut Ozil.

“But at only 20 years old and with injury problems in his recent past, it would be risky to ask the academic to carry the creative burden himself. Odegaard seems an ideal candidate to share.”

“The Norwegian had to leave Spain for his development in the Netherlands as a teenager, but credits from Heerenveen and Vitesse helped him mature and showed how far he has come during his brilliant time at Real Sociedad last year.

“Only five players, including Lionel Messi and Santi Cazorla, had more chances to score than Odegaard in La Liga last season and the 22-year-old was also in the top 10 for successful dribbles.”

Odegaard's preferred position is number 10, but he can play elsewhere
Odegaard’s preferred position is number 10, but he can play elsewhere

“Those traits could be invaluable to Arsenal in the role Smith Rowe is playing now, but Odegaard also has the versatility to play elsewhere. He is capable of in a 4-3-3 formation and throughout his Playing as number eight at Vitesse this season. ” He ensured regular goals and assists from the right.

“Much will of course depend on how he adapts to English football. From Kim Kallstrom to Denis Suarez, Arsenal’s recent history is a reminder that January loan signing doesn’t always work.

“But Odegaard certainly has the ingredients to help Arteta’s team build on their latest improvement in the final third – be it 10th, eighth or on the right.”

Terry Gibson on Transfer Talk Podcast:

“Will Arsenal find a place for Odegaard on a weekly basis? I’m not sure if that’s because of the position he plays in. Smith Rowe came on the team and is flying.

“Odegaard doesn’t have to go for the glamorous option, but rather where he’ll play 25-30 games by the end of the season. I’m not sure that will happen at Arsenal.”

Where is Odegaard’s long term future?

Arsenal have signed Odegaard on a loan deal until the end of the season – but if all goes well, what are the chances they’ll expand that to another season or even a permanent deal?

There is no formal option to purchase the deal with Real Madrid and Gibson says the player’s long-term ambition to become a star at the Bernabeu remains.

“I think Odegaard sees his long-term future at Real Madrid – likely after Zidane moved on,” said Gibson.

Odegaard signed a contract extension with Real Madrid at the beginning of last season that would keep him at the Spanish club until 2023. So it could cost a considerable amount of money to buy it on a permanent contract.

“Odegaard changed his mind to join Arsenal”

Martin Odegaard is joining Arsenal for six months
Martin Odegaard is joining Arsenal for six months

European football expert Fabrizio Romano:

“It’s almost there. He’s got his medical supplies and the papers are being signed. I think it’s all done between Real Madrid and arsenal.

“The player was about to return to Real Sociedad on loan but Mikel Arteta called the player, his family and his agent to convince them that he would have game time and play with Arsenal in the Premier League.

“So Odegaard changed his mind three or four days ago. It will be finalized in the next few hours and it will be an easy loan for six months. I was told that Arsenal and Real Madrid will be talking about one more time at the end of the season the situation together with Dani Ceballos.

“You will decide then, but Arsenal have a very interesting talent as they were tempted by a move to Ajax. But after Arteta’s phone call, he decided to move to England.”