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Arsenal target Martin Odegaard is ahead of Lionel Messi in one key area

If all the reports are true, then Arsenal will be getting their hands on Martin Odegaard pretty soon.

The Real Madrid midfielder has struggled for game time this season, with just nine appearances all season, and it looks as though he’s grown tired of warming the bench.

When reports of Odegaard looking for a loan move first emerged earlier this week, plenty of Arsenal fans called for the club to join the race for his signature.

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Now, with the likes of David Ornstein saying the deal is “90 percent done” and AS saying his arrival at the Emirates is imminent, it looks as though it won’t be long before the club confirms the good news.

So, what’s so special about Odegaard and what could he bring to Arsenal?

First thing’s first, we’ll go by what he’s best known for at this stage – being one of the world’s most highly rated young players several years ago.

Before his 16th birthday, Odegaard had already become the youngest player and goalscorer in the Norwegian top-flight, as well as the youngest player to ever represent Norway.

Morten Gamst Pedersen dubbed Odegaard the most talented player he had ever seen, saying: “For his age he is unbelievable – his knowledge of the game is unbelievable and his technical skills are fantastic.”

Former Norway manager Per-Mathias Hogmo said “he has something really special”, while David Nielsen, his manager at Stromgodset, likened him to both David Silva and Lionel Messi.

Real Madrid saw off a host of Europe’s biggest clubs to sign Odegaard in January 2015 in a move deemed as a coup for both parties.

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Admittedly, Odegaard’s progress has perhaps been slower than some anticipated, but following a fruitful loan stint at Real Sociedad last term, it was hoped he’d kick on and cement a place in the Bernabeu first team.

As this hasn’t been the case, it looks as though Arsenal will make the most of the situation in acquiring the services of a wonderfully talented No. 10.

Of his loan spell at Sociedad, Real Madrid fan site The Real Champs wrote: “Everything flowed through his silken feet, and his actions made the moves look as smooth as butter.

“He loves to dribble with the ball at his feet, taking on players and navigating through the lines.

“Odegaard likes to receive the ball between the lines and is very adept at recycling possession.

“Through balls are his USP, savagely piercing the teams with his needle-eyed accuracy.

“He is also known to play lofted balls for on-rushing players into the box.

“He is quick both on and off the ball and loves to have freedom on the pitch to exhibit an array of technical proficiencies.

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“He is a press-resistant player and can easily make his way out of pressure put on by the opposition.

“His vision is incredible and will only improve as he develops.”

And here’s the one line which could well prove the ultimate selling point for Arsenal fans:

“In terms of similar players, his playing style is Özilesque.”

And if that wasn’t enough, FBRef – via Jose C. Perez on Twitter – noted how Odegaard averages more passes into the penalty box per game than Lionel Messi.

All in all, Arsenal look to be on the verge of getting themselves a hell of a player, the perfect No. 10 to take some of the responsibility off Emile Smith Rowe.

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