Arteta claims Odegaard ‘happy’ at Arsenal
Since the arrival of Martin Odegaard at Arsenal, the Norwegian has been a valuable asset to the club.
He has provided pivotal creativity which was unusually lacking in the first half of the season. In combination with youngster Emile Smith-Rowe the pair formed a good partnership of playing with each other and adding to the threat in the forward line.
It is no secret that Arsenal will need to invest in a creative midfielder this summer after Mesut Ozil left permanently in January.
Mikel Arteta is likely to aim at keeping Odegaard who he says is very happy at the club.
“I speak with him every day,” he said. “I see his face, his body language and he seems really happy right now here.
Martin Odegaard during the match between FC Barcelona and Real Sociedad, corresponding to the week 27 of the Liga Santander, played at the Camp Nou Stadium, on 07th March 2020, in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Joan Valls/Urbanandsport /NurPhoto via Getty Images)
“Our contract with him is until the end of the season. What we have to do is try to make him perform, develop and be as happy as he can be.”
Odegaard though has maintained his dream is still to play for Real Madrid.
“Yes, as I have said many times when you sign there, the goal is always to play there. It is of course a big dream,” he said.
But, if playing opportunities in the Bernabeu continue to be limited, Arsenal present as a place he is comfortable in and knows he’ll be given plenty of playing time.
Odegaard ‘fundamental’ for Real
However, information emanating from Spain detail that the Norwegian international will not be allowed to return to Arsenal on a permanent basis.
In the report, AS claim that Odegaard is considered a ‘fundamental’ player in the squad:
Despite what happened, the club has Odegaard as a fundamental piece in the project in the short, medium and long term. They continue to think that the Norwegian will end up being one of the best in the world and consider him one of the footballers who will be an alternative to the so-called old guard of Zidane.
If this is indeed the case, then Arsenal will find themselves in a tough position regarding the 22-year old.
It would likely take a significant fee to convince Real Madrid otherwise in selling their young asset, money which they may not have if there is no European football for the next season.
This may then mean that the Gunners have to pursue alternative targets and they have been linked to a number of players including the likes of Real Betis’ Nabil Fekir and Julian Brandt of Borussia Dortmund.
DORTMUND, GERMANY – NOVEMBER 05: Julian Brandt of Borussia Dortmund celebrates after scoring his teams second goal with the team mates during the UEFA Champions League group F match between Borussia Dortmund and Inter at Signal Iduna Park on November 5, 2019 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
It is clear the position is one Arsenal want to strengthen whether it happens and who it might be is of course the big questions.