Martin Odegaard’s loan switch from Real Madrid to Arsenal looks set to be confirmed within the next few days, putting an end to the club’s search for a new attacking midfielder. The 22-year-old missed training with the Spanish giants on Friday in order to thrash out the details regarding his move, which will see him join the Gunners until the end of the season.
Odegaard has long been tipped as one of Europe’s finest young talents, and it appears that Premier League fans will get the chance to run the rule over the Norway international for the rest of the campaign.
He has played just nine times in all competitions for Real this season and is said to have grown tired of being repeatedly overlooked by boss Zinedine Zidane.
The playmaker will be hoping to show his parent club what they are missing out on during his time at Arsenal, with the Gunners crying out for additional quality in the middle of the park.
The club’s transfer chief Edu admitted in December that reinforcements in this area had become a priority.
“It’s quite clear what we need,” Edu told supporters at a fans’ forum. “We need a player with creativity in the middle, we don’t have that in the squad right now.”
Hale End academy product Emile Smith Rowe has shown that he can thrive when tasked with his team’s creative responsibilities, impressing in recent outings after finally receiving an extended run in the senior side.
However, Odegaard’s arrival will alleviate the pressure on the England youth international and provide Mikel Arteta will additional options in attack.
Smith Rowe’s emergence came as a result of seizing his first-team opportunity with both hands, a task that the Arsenal boss is willing give Odegaard every chance to replicate.
It has been revealed by ESPN that the Norwegian star has been promised a significant number of minutes at the north London club.
Arteta’s enthusiasm to include Odegaard as an integral part of his plans for the rest of the season is said to have been an overriding factor in Real’s decision to send him out on loan.
The report claims the Spanish giants believe the move will be ‘positive for the player’.
Odegaard has not been included in Zidane’s matchday squad to face Alaves on Saturday, with his omission serving as a huge hint that an announcement from Arsenal could soon be on the cards.
Club legend Martin Keown revealed on Friday that he believes Odegaard will add some much-needed quality to Arteta’s ranks, but claimed that his arrival could spell the end for fellow on-loan Real midfielder Dani Ceballos who could be left out of the side at the Norwegian’s expense.
“I’m assuming Arsenal are all over it,” Keown told talkSPORT. “He [Odegaard] brings that quality into the midfield. It’s an area Arsenal need to strengthen.
“Does that mean Ceballos will go? He’s on loan as well. Is he going to get football? Real Madrid may be concerned, he hasn’t played that much so far.”
The Gunners have already been active in this month’s transfer window, bringing in young defender Omar Rekik and goalkeeper Mat Ryan, the latter on a six-month loan deal from Brighton and Hove Albion, since the turn of the year.