Ahead of a loan move from Real Madrid, Martin Odegaard has completed a medical at Arsenal.
Arsenal agreed to sign a loan before the end of the season for the 22-year-old, with the contract set to be announced in the next 24 hours.
In order to play daily first-team games, Odegaard made it known that he intends to leave Real Madrid this month, having played just nine times in all the Spanish club competitions this season.
After his season-long loan spell last year, Real Sociedad were keen on re-signing Odegaard, but it is felt that the choice of Real Madrid was to transfer him to a club outside La Liga.
Last season, Odegaard posted seven goals and nine assists over 36 games on loan at the La Liga side, prompting Real Madrid to cut his two-year loan short and make him part of their first-team squad.
Odegaard was also interested in a number of Premier League clubs, including Leicester, but the Foxes decided not to join the Norwegian international despite tentative talks.
Two days after the departure of defensive midfielder Mesut Ozil, who has joined Fenerbahce from Arsenal on a free transfer, Odegaard’s completed medical arrives.
Odegaard would become the second signing of the January window by Arsenal after the club acquired the services of Brighton goalie Mat Ryan until the end of the season on a loan contract.
On Saturday, Arsenal will be ready for their Premier League trip to Manchester United live on Sky Sports if Arsenal completes the Odegaard contract by midday on Friday.
What’s Odegaard going to bring to the Premier League? Well, for starters, hype, hope and a lot of media attention.
In 2015, when Real Madrid won the race for his signature a month after his 16th birthday, the spotlight of the footballing community was concentrated on him – and the curiosity in the now 22-year-old is expected to flare again.
Odegaard, who had drawn excitable parallels with Lionel Messi, was already a Norwegian international when he joined Real, and soon started training with the first team and becoming the club’s youngest player in the final game of the season.
The expectation of what Odegaard would become at the Bernabeu knew no bounds back then – but his development, maybe disappointingly for some, has been quieter since, as a midfield technician’s steady progression has taken shape.
Patience is now paying off, though. Odegaard had a breakout season at Vitesse in 2018/19, generating more opportunities than any other player in the Dutch top flight, and coming third in the assists list to Dusan Tadic and Hakim Ziyech, following an underwhelming 18-month loan spell at Heerenveen.
Last year, as he hit double digits for goal assists, he followed it up with an outstanding season at Real Sociedad, and was returned to Real Madrid as a result.
Although it was eventually difficult to find a way into the line-up of Zinedine Zidane, Arsenal landed a classy maker, a pass-master and an attacking midfielder with a perfect touch and bright game knowledge.
Odegaard will bring excitement on on and off the pitch.