Fresh off a Man of the Match performance in his Champions League debut, Arsenal announced that captain Martin Ødegaard signed a contract extension on Friday morning, committing his future to the North London club through the 2028 season ahead of this weekend’s North London Derby.
"I've found a place that feels like home."— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 22, 2023
The extension is one in a series of contract extensions for key players, as Mikel Arteta and Edu have made great strides to lock down the core of young talent at Arsenal. Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Gabriel Magalhaes, William Saliba, and Aaron Ramsdale have all extended their contracts in the last months, solidifying a core of bright young players for Arteta to build around.
Despite the extension being in the works for quite some time and being all but a formality, it is nevertheless a major move for the Gunners. Since joining Arsenal on a permanent deal from Real Madrid in 2021, Ødegaard has elevated the side with his leadership and incredible skillset.
If we were to list the superlatives to describe the Norwegian midfielder, we’d be here all day. What is there to say about the 24 year old midfielder that hasn’t been said before? In two short seasons, he has become one of Arsenal’s talismans and a major contributor to the club’s rebirth under Arteta. He is as complete a midfielder as you can ask for: He presses relentlessly, dribbles like he was born with the ball on his foot, and can finish with lethal accuracy. Of all of the things, though, that we can be most proud of, it is that he is one of our own.
It was widely reported the disconnect Ødegaard felt during his time at La Liga super club Real Madrid. Joining at 15, he struggled to find his place on the roster. After a number of loans, including half a season at Arsenal, he now proudly calls London his home, a sentiment that has been at the forefront of the contract extension announcement by the club. Arteta brought him in when the club desperately needed quality and youth, and when Ødegaard desperately needed a fresh start to regain his love of the game. In repayment for Arteta’s belief in him, he has now promised his future to Arsenal. And the future is bright.
With Ødegaard now extended, the next player expected to extend is Ben White. If that comes to fruition, then Arteta will have extended 7 of the 11 players that helped Arsenal finish second in the PL last season and return to the Champions League for the first time in 6 years.
Congrats, Martin! Here’s to many more fruitful years at the Emirates.