Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has heaped praise on Martin Odegaard after the 22-year-old completed a permanent switch from Real Madrid.
Odegaard spent the second half of last season on loan at the Emirates Stadium, featuring 20 times for the Gunners before returning to Los Blancos for pre-season, with a move back to Arteta’s side looking unlikely.
However, after the Norwegian captain was left out of Carlo Ancelotti’s squad for Real’s La Liga opener against Alaves last weekend, a transfer looked back on as technical director Edu negotiated a more than reasonable fee with the Spanish giants.
Odegaard is Arsenal’s fourth signing of the summer, following English centre-half Ben White, Portuguese fullback Nuno Tavares and Belgian midfield maestro Albert Sambi Lokonga, with Sheffield United ‘keeper Aaron Ramsdale also set to join the club in the coming hours.
And after Odegaard was unveiled as an Arsenal player for the second time, Arteta has stated his admiration for the diminutive, claiming that he makes the Gunners a much better side.
“He brings a lot of things that he brought last season as well,” Arteta told the club website.
“He made us better, we needed more options, alternatives, creativity and players that can be morals for this football club. He is still a really young man but he has huge experience in different clubs already.
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“He has a unique talent based on the way we want to play so I’m delighted that the club has made an effort and we have Martin on a permanent deal here.
“You’ve seen the numbers and what we did after Christmas when Martin was in the team and we had people like Emile, the team performed at a completely different level. He’s someone that we admire and he’s still at the age in his career when the potential he has is still immense.”
The silky midfielder will don the no.8 shirt for Arsenal after the previous owner Dani Ceballos departed the club following his loan deal expiring at the end of June.