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Arsenal buy Martin Ødegaard from Real Madrid

Welcome (back) Martin!

Arsenal v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Martin Ødegaard is once again an Arsenal player, permanently this time. The Gunners have bought the Norwegian playmaker from Real Madrid for around €40m and have their much-needed creative reinforcement in central midfield. He was the number one target all summer, and now, they’ve got him. He’s expected to sign a new contract that will keep him at the Emirates through 2026.

Ødegaard is reportedly in contention to be available against Chelsea on Sunday. And more generally, that he’s already familiar with his teammates and Mikel Arteta’s system from last season’s loan will prove vital. The Gunners have little room for error this season, especially after dropping the opener to Brentford, and don’t really have the time to work a new attacker into the fold. Ødegaard should be able to hit the ground running in North London.

This is a fantastic get for the club. As I wrote last week, the deal 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.

And don’t forget, Ødegaard is 22. His peak years are ahead of him, and he’ll grow into his prime at the Emirates. He joins an increasingly-exciting crop of young talent at Arsenal. The Gunners have done well this summer to add to their already impressive young core that should be the envy of most clubs in Europe and will be downright scary in a few years.

Add Martin Ødegaard to Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Gabriel Martinelli, Gabriel Magalhaes, Ben White, Sambi Lokonga, and let’s even throw Nuno Tavares and Folarin Balogun in there. Let them all develop together for a season or two, then watch out. It’s going to be great. I’m excited.