The midfielder spent the latter part of 2020-21 season on loan with the Gunners.
After a disappointing 2020-21 season, Arsenal have gone all out in the transfer window. The club have brought in five signings, breaching the €100m mark. One of these new recruits is Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid, who has has permanently signed for the Gunners for a fee in the region of €40m. Following several loan periods, he has finally moved on from Real Madrid and has joined the London-based outfit.
Mikel Arteta will be delighted to secure the services of Odegaard on a permanent basis. He was impressive on loan last season and could guide Arsenal in the 2021/22 campaign. Here are the five reasons why Martin Odegaard will be crucial to the 2021-22 campaign of Arsenal.
5. Part of the long-term plan
Securing Martin Odegaard on a loan last season was only a stop-gap move by Arsenal. The club wanted to retain the Norwegian but it seemed like an unlikely scenario. However, the subsequent events went the Gunners’ way in the summer as they struck a deal for him. Now, with the future secured, the management can formulate a gameplan around the attacking midfielder.
Martin Odegaard is still a 22-year-old and has a lot of potential to fulfill. He could lead Arsenal’s resurgence for many years to come, starting from this season. The midfielder is the youngest ever player to represent Norway at senior level. He has been playing at the senior level for over seven years and has immense experience which could help his growth and Arsenal’s fortunes.
4. Brings creativity
Arsenal has a big squad but they are surprisingly short-handed in the creative department. Before Odegaard’s permanent arrival, the sole creative figure in the team was Emile Smith Rowe. The 21-year-old may have gained a lot of pedigree in the last year but still needs time to fully blossom. The club was desperate for a replacement of Mesut Ozil since his exit.
Martin Odegaard has the vision and technical ability to fulfill that role. He has a knack of finding players with his through balls and keeps the ball rolling in possession. The midfielder had a 91% passing accuracy during his 14-game spell in the Premier League last term. He contributed with one goal and two assists despite only playing 62 minutes per game.
3. Squad depth
As mentioned above, Odegaard is a great addition for Arsenal, who had used Emile Smith Rowe extensively as the only creative outlet last season. Arteta prefers one pivot behind two forward-thinking midfielders. Granit Xhaka or Thomas Partey alongside the pair of Rowe and Odegaard will help the Gunners go the extra mile in the upcoming season.
Furthermore, Odegaard can also shift in as a deep-lying playmaker in a no.6 role. He can also shift in as a winger and use his left-foot to whip in dangerous crosses. The Norwegian will also bring more quality in set-piece situations. Odegaard created one big chance per game last season in the Premier League and expected to become a threat from corners and free-kicks.
2. The platform
The Premier League is arguably the most competitive league in Europe. It houses some of the biggest names in the world and attracts bigger names every year. Martin Odegaard has featured extensively for SC Heerenveen in the Dutch Eredivisie and Real Sociedad in the La Liga prior to joining Arsenal.
The 22-year-old bagged 14 appearances in the Premier League, albeit most were from the bench. The upcoming season would be the perfect opportunity for him to showcase his talent. The English top-flight garners huge viewership and there will not be a bigger stage for Odegaard to finally stamp his authority. In doing so, he will help Arsenal carve out a stronger performance this term.
1. The mentor
Mikel Arteta might be in the early stages of his managerial career. However, he has played with and coached some incredibly talented players. He has learnt most of his trade while working as an assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. The Spaniard was a technically-adept midfielder himself during his career.
Odegaard could learn a lot from Arteta both as a coach and a midfielder. This is in close reference to how Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has improved Mason Greenwood’s finishing at Manchester United. Similarly, Odegaard will be under the perfect mentorship of Arteta, who knows what it takes to succeed in the league. The partnership between the duo will be crucial to Arsenal’s ambitions in the upcoming season.