Sunday, September 17, 2023

£34m star now ‘one of the best signings of the decade’ at the Emirates

Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard could be described as “one of the best signings of the last decade”, as journalist Dean Jones provides GIVEMESPORT with his verdict on why he has proven to be such a success at the Emirates Stadium.

Mikel Arteta has built a Gunners squad around the maestro and hopes to challenge for titles this season.

It was a mixed start to Odegaard’s career after arriving at the Emirates Stadium. Whilst the Norwegian midfielder was considered an asset to Arteta’s side, the Gunners slumped to a second consecutive eighth-placed finish during his maiden season in north London, having arrived on an initial loan from Real Madrid. However, in August 2021, Odegaard signed a permanent deal after sporting director Edu Gaspar gambled on his services, arriving for a fee that could rise to £34m, enabling himself to settle down and find a home in the Premier League.

Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard

His first full season with the Gunners proved a marked improvement on the previous campaign, as a young side led by Arteta just missed out on sealing a place in the Champions League, finishing fifth, two points behind fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur. But that inspired Arsenal to improve again the following season, who challenged Manchester City for the Premier League title last term.

Ultimately, the club’s search for a first top-flight title will extend into its 20th year, but running the eventual treble winners close can be considered a vast improvement. Last season’s second-place finish also secured the capital club’s return to the Champions League as Arteta prepares to welcome the continent’s biggest sides to the Emirates for the first time since the 2016/17 season.

In that time, Odegaard was appointed club captain, replacing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette as skipper in 2022. The 24-year-old has remained a creative presence in the centre of the park whilst also adapting his role to operate as a proficient tackler and winner of the ball.

Journalist Paul Brown has recently told GIVEMESPORT that Odegaard signing a new contract at the Emirates would be “good news.” According to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, Arsenal are working on a new deal for the leader with “optimism.”

Martin Odegaard – Premier League 2022/23

Appearances

37

Minutes

3149

Goals

15

Assists

7

Yellow cards

4

Shots per game

2.5

Pass success rate

84%

Man of the Match awards

7

All stats according to WhoScored

What has Jones said about Arsenal and Odegaard?

Jones believes you can consider Odegaard “one of the best signings of the last decade” and that finding a home at Arsenal has played a massive role in his development. The journalist told GIVEMESPORT:

“I think he would be one of the best signings of the last decade. It’s been important that Arsenal have been able to give him a home. That’s what Odegaard has been crying out for for years now. We’ve heard about this lad since he was a young teenager breaking through, and you’re always like, ‘Okay, so once he makes his breakthrough in men’s football, how good will he be, and where will he end up? Will it be Real Madrid? Which top European club will it be?’ It was a stuttering start, but Arsenal has proved to be the best place for him, and I think he’s loving it. Arsenal are reaping the rewards of that chance they took on him.”

Can Odegaard become an Arsenal legend?

Odegaard knows that the next step at Arsenal is to win a league title or European trophy to secure his status amongst the club’s greats. The skipper already has an excellent rapport with the Emirates faithful, given his exceptional attitude and hard-working values, but hopes to earn some winner’s medals for himself soon.

The £115,000 per-week earner, whose current contract runs until the summer of 2025, will feel the Gunners have been handed a favourable group in the Champions League. Arsenal face PSV Eindhoven, Lens and Sevilla, needing to finish above two of them to progress to the round of 16.

Domestically, the north London outfit hope to go one better in the Premier League and topple Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City this term, following the signings of Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and David Raya.

What has Odegaard said about his Arsenal future?

Speaking to TV2 (via 90min), Odegaard suggested that he is happy with life at Arsenal but is not involved in negotiations over a new contract.

“I have a few years left on the contract. I’m fine, and I hope to be at the club for a long time to come. I have not spoken to them. That is not my task. To be honest, I don’t know how the situation is right now. Well, it’s not me who controls.”

Therefore, Odegaard cuts a relaxed figure with less than two years remaining on his contract at the Emirates. But the Norway international doesn’t have immediate plans to leave the English capital.

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