Ødegaard convinced by Arteta
Arsenal completed the signing of Martin Ødegaard from Real Madrid earlier today, on a loan deal which expires at the end of the season. The Norwegian international spoke of how Gunners coach Mikel Arteta was the man to convince him that the north London club was the best place for him.
“I spoke to him before coming here, of course,” Ødegaard told Arsenal.com. “That was very important for me and he seems like a top manager and I liked his ideas, the way he sees football and also the way he is.”
“He gave me a great feeling and that was important for me to come here. He was crucial. I think every time you go to a new place, you want to make sure that it feels good and that there is a plan. But I think everything here just seems good.”
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 17: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal talks to Thomas Partey of Arsenal before making his debut during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at Etihad Stadium on October 17, 2020 in Manchester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
“I like the club and I always liked the way that the club wants to play. Everything about the club and now how the manager wants to play, I think it’s a club that really suits me well. So I think it’s a good match.”
With Emile Smith Rowe having been taken off with an injury concern against Southampton on Tuesday evening, Ødegaard’s arrival could not come at a better time for Arsenal, and Arteta will be hoping to introduce him to his matchday squad as soon as possible.
Training videos quell injury fears
Concerns spread throughout the Arsenal fan base when stories of a possible injury picked up by Ødegaard began to surface. The Athletic’s David Ornstein admitted to stumbling across such stories, but quickly assured that there was nothing to worry about.
“I saw there was a lot of this going around yesterday and he was listed as injured on the Real Madrid website and training inside in recent days,” Ornstein said on the Ornstein & Chapman Podcast.
“But when I checked I was told that there was nothing significant to worry about and that Arsenal were very comfortable.”
Further encouraging signs were seen when images emerged, showcasing the 22-year-old taking part in his first Arsenal training session, alongside the likes of Dani Ceballos and Kieran Tierney:
First session! 💼
🇪🇸 Dani 🤜🤛 Martin 🇳🇴
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) January 27, 2021
Then, further footage was revealed of Ødegaard in training, as the bulk of the Arsenal squad recovered from their 3-1 win at Southampton.
Straight to work! 👊
📺 Get a first look at Martin in action at Arsenal Training Centre 👇
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) January 27, 2021
Norwegian journalist Arilas Ould-Saada has since confirmed that Ødegaard is set to join the main squad tomorrow for his first full training session, putting an end to any remaining injury concerns. Hope was even provided of a possible inclusion in Arsenal’s matchday squad to face Manchester United.
“Martin Ødegaard will have his first full training session with the Arsenal squad on Thursday after the team had a day off Wednesday. He is fully fit and in contention for Saturday’s squad against Man United. Inclusion will depend on how he performs in training next two days,” said Arilas.
Martin Ødegaard will have his first full training session with the Arsenal squad on Thursday after the team had a day off Wednesday. He is fully fit and in contention for Saturday’s squad against Man United. Inclusion will depend on how he performs in training next two days. 🔴⚪️ pic.twitter.com/zTe0n6fd5n
— Arilas Ould-Saada (@arilasos) January 27, 2021