Martin Odegaard: The missing piece
PIRAEUS, GREECE - MARCH 11: Martin Odegaard of Arsenal during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 First Leg match between Olympiacos and Arsenal at Karaiskakis Stadium on March 11, 2021 in Piraeus, Greece. Sporting stadiums around Europe remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Martin Odegaard has settled to life in north London very quickly with the Norwegian claiming to have felt at home from the first day he arrived. 

Arsenal signed Odegaard for a half season loan in the hope that he could provide cover and competition for highly rated youngster Emile Smith-Rowe

Previous clubs and loans

Odegaard burst onto the football scene at just the tender age of 15 when he made his debut for his boyhood club Stromsgodset. The Norwegian was still in compulsory education at the time meaning he couldn’t train in the daytime with his teammates.

To this day, Odegaard remains their youngest ever debutant.

After competition from many European clubs including Arsenal, Real Madrid won the race for his signature where Odegaard joined up with manager at the Time Carlo Ancelotti.

Odegaard made his debut for Los Blancos when he replaced Cristiano Ronaldo on the hour mark vs Getafe at just 16 years old.

Loan spells at many European clubs including Vitesse, Real Sociedad and now Arsenal have made up Odegaard’s Madrid Career with the Norwegian struggling for game time at Madrid and looking out of favour with current boss Zinedine Zidane.  

Joining up with his teammates at London Colney

Odegaard joined the Gunners on loan in 2021’s January transfer window to unite with Real Madrid teammate Dani Ceballos. Odegaard came in as another young talent to Mikel Arteta’s side who could provide competition and cover for Arsenal’s attack.

After the departure of playmaker Mesut Ozil, The 22-year-old was bought in to fill that creative role that the Gunners were crying out for at the time. 

The Norwegian captain is blessed with technical ability in abundance. Silky dribbling and defence splitting passes are just a few to name of Odegaard’s key attributes.

These have been clear for Gunners fans to enjoy throughout the duration of his stay so far. The Real Madrid loanee scored a crucial goal on Thursday night against Olympiacos in the UEFA Europa league to give his side the lead with a strike that shocked the keeper 30 yards from goal. 

What next?

If Odegaard can maintain a consistent run of performances and aid his side to European success this season, then he could give Arsenal’s technical director Edu Gaspar a real headache going into the summer as to whether the Gunners keep the Real Madrid star.

The possibilities to explore could include a loan extension of another season or, a permanent transfer that could reportedly be in the region of up to £36 million.