Arsenal sign Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard on loan

Stefan Bienkowski
Stefan Bienkowski Updated: 17 May 2021 19:47 BST 2 min read
Arsenal sign Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard on loan

Arsenal have completed the loan signing of Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard for the remainder of the season. 

The 22-year-old attacking midfielder joins Mikel Arteta’s side as the club’s first signing of the January transfer window, following the departures of Sead Kolasinac and William Saliba on loan and Sokratis on a free transfer. 

Although Odegaard is highly regarded at the Spanish giants, the Norwegian international has struggled to break into Zinedine Zidane’s side this season and amassed just 232 minutes in La Liga prior to making the decision to move to England. 

The midfielder was reportedly being courted by Real Socieded, where he enjoyed a successful loan spell last season with seven goals and nine assists in 36 games. 

Although Arteta’s side have enjoyed an upturn in form in recent weeks – with an undefeated run that now stretches to six games in all competitions – Arsenal could undoubtedly use more creativity in the middle of the pitch. 

The North London club have a number of defensive or holding midfielders but have had to turn to 20-year-old midfielder Emile Smith Rowe as their de facto playmaker for much of the season. 

The young youth graduate has done well with his step up to the first team, but it now remains to be seen whether Arteta will turn to Odegaard to step in as Arsenal’s playmaker-in-chief or stick with Smith Rowe for the time being. 

What number is Odegaard at Arsenal?

The Real Madrid loanee has been handed the number 11 shirt at the Emirates, previously won by the likes of Mesut Ozil, Robin van Persie, Ray Parlour, and Marc Overmars.

The London club started producing kits with his name and number of the back on Wednesday but were keen to avoid any potential leaks. News broke that he would wear the No.11 shortly before the deal was announced, however.