Martin Ødegaard is set for a move to Arsenal, sources have told our friends at Managing Madrid. Their report has the transfer priced at £42.5M, but I’ve seen other reports with a number as low as £34M. It will end up being somewhere in the €40-50M range, but the final number doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that Arsenal look extremely likely to get their #1 target for the summer and add a desperately needed creative, attacking presence. And my apologies for the currency switch — the numbers look cleaner in euros.
Ødegaard was left out of Real Madrid’s squad for this weekend’s La Liga opener against Alaves. With Toni Kroos, Fede Valverde, and Dani Ceballos all out injured to start the season, you’d think Ødegaard would be in the squad even if only as an option off the bench with Real Madrid being a bit thin in the center of the midfield. That he was left out signals to me that he’s on the move.
Should Arsenal get the deal over the line, it would be a fantastic get for the club. It has shades of the Mesut Özil transfer from 2013. Ødegaard doesn’t have the established pedigree or resume that Özil had when he moved, but he’s class, the type and level of player you “expect” Arsenal to put on the field. He has the tools and the potential to reach Özil-levels, without a doubt.
With the deal taking longer to complete than some of Arsenal’s other transfer business this summer, it’s important that Ødegaard knows Mikel Arteta’s system and has already developed chemistry with his teammates from last season’s loan. The Gunners have little room for error this year and don’t have time to bed-in a marquee signing now that the season is underway. I expect the Norwegian to hit the ground running at the Emirates and re-integrate mostly, if not totally, seamlessly into the squad.
I’m sure that like me, you’re all anxiously awaiting the tweet from David Ornstein or Fabrizio Romano or whoever confirming the impending move. It seems like only a matter of time.