Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta expressed his delight about signing Martin Odegaard on a permanent deal from Real Madrid.
The Norwegian spent the second half of last season on loan at the Emirates. He impressed everyone during his short stay here, so much so, that Arteta made him his number one transfer target even before the window opened.
However, it looked at one point as if Real Madrid would not entertain any offers for him this summer. Arsenal did not give up, and Arteta has hinted that Odegaard’s wishes was the reason why.
Arteta: Odegaard always expressed his desire to come back
He said, as per Arsenal.com: “I was really happy because at one stage we thought it wouldn’t be possible. Madrid wasn’t very keen on selling the player. Martin always expressed his desire to come, but it wasn’t looking very possible.
“Then, the door opened and straight away, the club was really supportive and Edu did a great job to manage the situation and we got the player that we wanted and we know because we have experience already with him for six months.
“I think he makes the rest of the players around him better. His work ethic is phenomenal, the way he goes about his job, his professionalism, his character, he’s a very likeable person. I think he has fitted really well into the culture and then for the way we want to play he’s a player with exceptional qualities to add to them.”
The Insider’s View:
Arteta has always maintained that he doesn’t like convincing a player to move to Arsenal. He’s only interested in people who want to join the club, and it is clear to see that Odegaard checked that box all summer.
It really did look like the Norwegian would stay at Real Madrid. However, Arteta’s comments tell us that Odegaard ‘always’ said he wanted to come back to the Emirates, which is excellent as we need more players who want to play for the badge.
Odegaard will likely play a part in our game against West Brom tonight. He has already shown his class in Arsenal’s colours, but he will only get better with time, and we’re certain that he’ll show an improved version of himself in the coming weeks and months.