How Kroos' injury harms Arsenal's playmaker hunt

Real Madrid star Toni Kroos

Toni Kroos' injury could prevent Arsenal from signing Martin Odegaard this summer, as Real Madrid can't afford to lose another midfielder.

Kroos has suffered a sports hernia, the club have announced, which makes him a doubt for the first few games of the season at least, while he could miss as much as a couple of months if it is aggravated.

At 31 years of age, Los Blancos may choose to leave the German out for even longer to ensure a full recovery from the tricky injury.

As a result, a battle for a place in the squad could take place between previously unwanted stars Martin Odegaard and Isco.

Luka Modric and Casemiro are still expected to start under Carlo Ancelotti, with Fede Valverde the favourite to take Kroos' place in the starting eleven.

However, given Modric's age, and Madrid's hunger to compete in multiple competitions, there is a need for another option off the bench.

Odegaard is the much younger of the two candidates, and could see this as the perfect opportunity to get his career in the Spanish capital underway.

Both Odegaard and Isco have been linked with transfers away, with the latter mentioned alongside Milan in the media rumour mill recently.

Odegaard to Arsenal off?

Mikel Arteta is keen to get Arsenal back into the Premier League's top six, and earn a spot in the Europa League, as his job would be under serious threat if he failed to do so.

As such, the Gunners boss knows that competition for places is key, and another attacking midfielder is on the agenda.

Arsenal have been eyeing up a playmaker for over a year now, despite the breakthroughs of youngsters Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe.

A move for Norwich's Emiliano Buendia never materialised earlier in the window, as the Argentine signed for big-spending Aston Villa instead.

Now, all eyes are on Leicester City's James Maddison and Odegaard, who impressed on loan at the Emirates last season.

However, Maddison signed a long-term contract just last summer and so the Foxes are after £70million for his services, which is out of Arsenal's reach.

Perhaps the more realistic target was Odegaard, but the latest development makes any deal for the Norwegian also unlikely.

The Gunners have signed Ben White, Albert Lokonga and Nuno Tavares already this summer, but know their business can't stop there if they are to get back into Europe, at the very least.