Premier League: Martin Odegaard signs with Arsenal just like Aaron Ramsdale


LONDON – Norwegian attacking midfielder Martin Odegaard, 22, has made a definitive commitment to Arsenal where he was already on loan from Real Madrid since last January, the London club announced on Friday.

The transfer would have cost the Gunners 30 million pounds (35 million EUR), according to the British press.

Loaned throughout the second part of the season, the Norwegian hope convinced Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta of his creative potential, despite a starving statistical record (two goals and two assists in twenty games).

« He made the team better, we needed more options and alternatives in the creation, » Arteta explained at a press conference on Friday, two days before the big London derby against Chelsea on Sunday afternoon in Emirates Stadium.

« He is still a young player but he already has a lot of club experience and a unique talent in the way he plays, so I am delighted that the club have agreed to this effort, » added Arteta.

Listed as a footballing prospect at the age of 15, when he became the youngest player to debut in the Norwegian Premier League and the national team, Odegaard quickly signed for Real Madrid a year later.

But the left-hander never won at Real, barred by competition, and went on loan in the Dutch championship, at SC Heerenveen then at Vitesse Arnhem, before returning to La Liga, to Real Sociedad, then leaving for Arsenal in early 2021.

At 22, the Norwegian hope will try to really launch his career in a club already in difficulty this season, because beaten last weekend on the lawn of promoted Brentford (2-0).

The arrival of Odegaard allows Arsenal to strengthen in midfield, after reinforcements from central defender Ben White (Brighton), left side Nuno Tavares (Benfica) and another midfielder, Albert Sambi Lokonga ( Anderlecht).

Arsenal’s new number 8 will not be able to start against Chelsea on Sunday, however, as he has yet to obtain a visa, the club said in a statement.

The Gunners also formalized on Friday the signing of English goalkeeper from Sheffield Aaron Ramsdale, who was part of the England group during the Euro, for a sum of also around 35 million EUR according to the British press.


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