Arsenal almost have their man. The Gunners are close to a deal with Real Madrid that would bring Martin Ødegaard back to the Emirates to provide a much needed creative boost in the midfielder. The Athletic reports that the deal will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of €35M and that while there are details to be worked out, Ødegaard is in contention to feature on Sunday against Chelsea.
There’s not much else to be said at this point. Ødegaard has been Mikel Arteta’s top target all summer (depending on who you believe). The club expected to conduct business in two phases this window — easier deals earlier in the summer with some stuff having to wait until later. This is one of those moves: Ødegaard and Madrid had to decide they weren’t right for each other before anything could happen.
Arsenal desperately needed a creative, central midfielder this window. And it looks as if the club has turned Joe Willock + €10M or so into that. Seems like a good piece of business to me, especially considering Arsenal are getting the guy they wanted, who is already familiar with his teammates and the system.
And Ødegaard is 22-years old. He’ll hit his prime right around when the young core of the squad — Saka, Smith-Rowe, Gabriel, White, Martinelli — are all hitting theirs. With a move for 23-year old Aaron Ramsdale possibly back on (and even without it, really) we can safely say the Gunners have made a point of acquiring young talent this summer.
That’s what we wanted from the club — stop buying older, stopgap players and start acquiring younger guys that have the potential to develop or at least have some resale value down the road.
Heading into the summer, Arsenal needed a GK, a CB, backup left back, CMs, and a RB. So far they’ve bought a CB (Ben White), a LB (Nuno Tavares), a DM (Sambi Lokonga), and if this move goes through a CM (Martin Ødegaard). They’re still working on a GK, and I think whether Ramsdale or someone else, the Gunners will bring somebody in to backup / compete with Bernd Leno. Right back is the only spot that doesn’t seem to be on the radar / likely. I’d say that’s a pretty good transfer window, all told.