Martin Odegaard has suggested he is ready to stay at Arsenal on a permanent basis it means ‘stability’ in his career. The 22-year-old has offered Mikel Arteta a valuable option in attacking midfield since his arrival on loan from Real Madrid during the January transfer window.
Since joining Los Blancos as a 16-year-old in 2015, Odegaard has been out on loan four times, excelling at Real Sociedad last season. Standout performances in the Spanish top flight did not guarantee him regular opportunities back at Real this season however with Arsenal now benefitting.
Reports in Spain since his arrival in north London suggest Real still consider the Norwegian a big part of their future. Odegaard suggests however he will need guarantees over opportunities at the club before he makes his final decision.
‘I said many times that I have been looking for stability [at the same club], but haven’t found it,’ Odegaard told VG. ‘I think it will be important to find stability. I am very happy at Arsenal, enjoying myself. I like it here. ‘Now my focus is to finish the season then we will see.’
Odegaard has made nine appearances for Arsenal since arriving in January, scoring his first goal for the club on Thursday in the Europa League victory over Olympiacos. Gunners boss Mikel Arteta suggested in February the club will explore the possibility of extending his stay beyond this season. “We have Martin for a few months and first of all we have to maximise this time with him to try to bring to the team all the qualities he has,’ Arteta said. ‘At the end of the season we will sit together and decide where we can take that relationship forward.’
Next Arsenal captain
Kieran Tierney could have some competition in the race to be named the next Arsenal captain.
The current Gunners skipper is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who having signed a new contract last summer, is likely to continue leading the team out for the next three years at least.
And the official vice-captain is Hector Bellerin, although that position could become vacant this summer amid talk of the right-back leaving the Emirates Stadium in the next transfer window.
In the absence of the aforementioned pair, the experienced trio of Alexandre Lacazette, Granit Xhaka, and David Luiz have worn the captain’s armband this season.
“I think he can be Arsenal captain as he has the respect and admiration of every member of the staff and every player,” Arteta said, as per Goal. “It is just the way he is.
“He does it in a natural way.
“He is a really shy boy as well but he represents all of us in the club; all of the values that we want to instil and are in the DNA in this club.”
Of course, for Odegaard to even be in contention to challenge Tierney to become a future Gunners skipper, his loan move from Real Madrid will have to be made permanent.
Whether that is going to be possible is another question, with Los Blancos understood to be keen to keep their talented 22-year-old ahead of next season.
Arteta has revealed that talks over whether Odegaard will remain at the Emirates past this season will take place once the campaign is over.
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Arsenal are likely to be busy in the summer transfer window.
The Gunners brought in Mat Ryan and Martin Odegaard on loan from Brighton and Real Madrid in the January transfer window, with the winter market used more to offload players not part of Mikel Arteta’s plans.
Arteta is likely to try to sell players during the upcoming summer transfer window, but there will be more emphasis on buying new players too.
Former manager George Graham has told Stan Kroenke he should invest money on three new signings, costing between £75million and £100million each.
He said: “Arsenal have outstanding young players, but they need help. Quality players around them to show them the way. They need to go out and buy two or three players, each costing £75million to £100million.”
The Arsenal manager has made it clear that he is keen to strengthen in the full-back departments, while there will also be a clamour from the fanbase to bring in a creative midfielder.