Odegaard reveals why he returned to Arsenal

Martin Macdonald
Martin Odegaard, Arsenal, 2021/22

Martin Odegaard says that he returned to Arsenal in order to finally gain some stability in his football career.

With Real Madrid making no signings last summer in the pandemic, Odegaard'a loan move to Real Sociedad was finished early so that he could be brought back as a member of the first team squad at Santiago Bernabeu.

Despite starting the first two games of the season under Zinedine Zidane, Odegaard fell out of favour thereafter, and would only start one other La Liga game before January.

Though then head coach Zidane reportedly wanted to keep Odegaard at Real Madrid for the second half of the season, the player’s wish was to leave for some first-team football, which led to Arsenal taking him for six months.

The Norwegian was a hit at the Emirates, and soon eased fears that he would hamper the development of Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka by striking up an impressive partnership with the young Arsenal duo.

He would ultimately return to Real Madrid following the loan spell, but when he received no assurances over his playing time in the Spanish capital, Arsenal took the opportunity to sign him on a permanent basis.

Since signing for Madrid, Odegaard as went out on loan to Heerenveen, Vitesse, Sociedad and then Arsenal, so the prospect of finally staying in one place for an extended period of time appealed to him.

"I think a lot of things, I had a good time here when I came," he told Stadium Astro when asked why he returned to the Emirates.

"It was a really good loan spell, and I really like the project, the club, from the manager.

"I want to be part of rebuilding the club and getting the club back to the top.

"The club, and how the manager wants to do things, was very important for me.

"It's very important for young players to get that stability, and I've been trying to find it for the past couple of years.

"It's been a bit hectic, so it's good to finally get here, sign a long contract and hopefully stay for many years."

Odegaard, Saka and Smith Rowe

As mentioned above, Odegaard quickly established a coherence with two other young guns in Saka and Smith Rowe.

That trio are viewed as the future of the club and the Norwegian believes they will only get better as they spent more time together both on and off the pitch.

"I think we already have a good connection on the pitch. We have a lot of young and talented players," he explained.

"We have Emile, Bukayo and others.

"We are getting along really well on and off the pitch.

"I think, because everyone is young, with time we'll get better and better and learn to know each other even more.

"It feels great to just settle down and get that stability.

Arsenal have endured a poor start to the new campaign, losing three of their opening four matches against Brentford, Chelsea and Manchester City.