It’s been an eventful 24 hours for the Martin Ødegaard to Arsenal transfer rumor. Yesterday, MARCA reported that Real Madrid were open to selling the Norwegian playmaker if he wanted to leave, as our friends at Managing Madrid wrote about here. Earlier today, Spanish radio show and podcast OndoCero.es reported that Ødegaard would be leaving and Dani Ceballos staying with Los Blancos.
But all of that was before the unfortunate injury news came out on Ceballos — he has two complete tears of ligaments in his ankle that will likely keep him out at least two months.
Ødegaard has reportedly been unhappy with his place in the pecking order at Real Madrid and concerned about playing time. He cannot have been reassured by the preseason either — he’s played sparingly. According to Managing Madrid, Ødegaard is behind Casemiro, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Federico Valverde, and perhaps even Isco in Carlo Ancelotti’s pecking order, with no mention of how Ceballos might fit into the picture.
Toni Kroos is set to miss the start of the season and could be out until the end of September with a sports hernia. Ceballos will also be out for a few months. Does that change Ødegaard’s stance? In the short term, maybe. Over the rest of the season and the long term, probably not.
Earlier in the summer, it seemed like this rumor was done and dusted. Ødegaard was going to stay at Real Madrid and the rumor mill had gone quiet. That this story has come up again, seemingly out of nowhere on the heels of Arsenal selling Joe Willock feels like more than a coincidence to me. Some thought that if Arsenal were going to buy Ødegaard, the move would happen closer to the end of the window, and folks, August 31st, the close of the transfer window is getting ever closer.
I think we know that Ødegaard works well in Mikel Arteta’s system. He was really good on loan — he passed both the eye test and the advanced stats test for me. And Arsenal desperately need another creative, attacking presence in the middle of the pitch.
Let’s make this one happen Edu.