Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard has made no secret of his desire to leave the Spanish capital on loan this month in the hope of playing regular football and, according to reports, Arsenal are the latest club to have enquired regarding his availability.
Loan spells at Heerenveen, Vitesse Arnhem and Real Sociedad in recent seasons haven’t been enough to persuade Zinedine Zidane the 22-year-old is ready to start regularly for Los Blancos, much to his frustration it seems.
Odegaard has been limited to just seven appearances in the Spanish top flight this season despite enjoying a hugely successful period at Real Sociedad last season. During his time with La Real, the Norwegian made 36 appearances, contributing seven goals and nine assists.
Creativity has been an issue for the north London club this season – managing just 23 goals in their 19 Premier League fixtures so far.
With Arsenal in need of an additional midfielder and the player looking to prove himself, Mikel Arteta’s side and the Norwegian could prove to be the perfect match.
Whilst it appears there is a huge appetite among the supporters to see a creative midfield player come in, the recent emergence of Emile Smith Rowe has understandably left some concerned that his progress may be blocked by any potential big-name arrival.
The 20-year-old has been a breath of fresh air at the Emirates Stadium since he was named in the side that beat Frank Lampard’s Chelsea on Boxing Day. In just five Premier League appearances to date, he’s already contributed an impressive three assists, but given his injury history and the fact he is still so young, it could be argued relying too heavily on Smith Rowe for creative spark is a risk Arteta cannot afford to take.
The potential arrival of Odegaard could help split that burden and with both players in their early twenties and keen to prove themselves, the competition could bring out the best in the pair.
It’s understood that there are a number of clubs interested in taking the Norwegian on loan for the remainder of the 2020/21 campaign with one of them said to be Real Sociedad. Given his history at the Anoeta and the fact a move to San Sebastian would mean staying in Spain, you could understand if the player felt that to be a more sensible move.
However, the Gunners have successfully negotiated two loan deals for Dani Ceballos in recent seasons – suggesting the club have a good relationship with the Spanish giants. Stylistically, he’s exactly what the fans appear to be looking for and the temporary nature of the move would strengthen Arsenal immediately without impacting on Smith Rowe’s longer-term prospects.
A player renowned for his ability to play key passes, dribble and bring others into the game – It feels like a perfect fit.