OFFICIAL: Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard joins Arsenal on loan
Arsenal have confirmed the arrival of Real Madrid starlet Martin Odegaard, on a loan deal running until the end of the season.
The 22-year-old selected the Emirates following a personal chat with manager Mikel Arteta, and turned down offers from rival clubs across Europe as a result.
Odegaard arrives after falling down the pecking order under Zinedine Zidane in the Spanish capital and seeing his game-time severely restricted, despite an impressive spell on loan with Real Sociedad last season.
With Sociedad Odegaard became one of the most creative players in La Liga and played a significant role in the team achieving a European-placed finish.
Sociedad were among the sides who were keen to take Odegaard on a fresh loan deal, along with Dutch champions Ajax.
Reports in Spain however claim Real were much more in favour of Arsenal’s offer, in order for their talented star to cut his teeth in the Premier League.
Odegaard joined Madrid from Stromgodset in January 2015, after being one of the most fiercely tracked teenagers in world football.
After making his debut in the Norwegian top flight aged just 15 and then featuring for the national team soon after, the elite of European football quickly queued up for his signature.
Odegaard had been courted by the likes of Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain before opting to move to the Spanish capital and realise a childhood dream with Madrid.
After returning from his Sociedad loan last summer, high expectations were placed upon Odegaard’s shoulders, though he has played only nine times for Real this season.
After starting the first two La Liga games of the season under Zidane, he has featured only once from the outset of a league game since – on 21 November.