Martin Odegaard has joined Arsenal on loan from Real Madrid until the end of the season, the Premier League club have confirmed.
Odegaard, 22, revealed that a call with Gunners boss Mikel Arteta convinced him to move to the Emirates Stadium.
"I spoke to him before coming here, of course," Odegaard told Arsenal's official website. "That was very important for me and he seems like a top manager and I liked his ideas, the way he sees football and also the way he is.
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"He gave me a great feeling and that was important for me to come here. He was crucial.
"I think every time you go to a new place, you want to make sure that it feels good and that there is a plan. But I think everything here just seems good.
I like the club and I always liked the way that the club wants to play. Everything about the club and now how the manager wants to play, I think it's a club that really suits me well. So I think it's a good match.
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The Norwegian midfielder asked to leave Real Madrid on loan as he wanted more regular first-team action. A loan agreement was reached with Arsenal on Sunday night and he passed his medical on Tuesday.
He reportedly considered a return to Real Sociedad, where he had an impressive 19-20 season on loan, but he decided to join the Gunners instead to test himself in the Premier League.
Odegaard is being dubbed as the replacement for Mesut Ozil, who has departed for Turkish Super Lig side Fenerbahce.
He made just seven appearances for Real Madrid this season following a 19/20 campaign where he was a permanent fixture in Sociedad's starting XI.
Martin Odegaard, Arsenal
Image credit: Getty Images
'I ADMIRED FABREGAS'
Odegaard spoke of his admiration for former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas, saying he tried to emulate the Spaniard growing up.
“In Norway, the Premier League is really big,” Odegaard told Arsenal.com. “Since I was a little kid there, we always watched all the games, me and my friends," Odegaard told the club's website.
“I think it's the biggest league, especially in Norway, so for me it's always been a dream to play in the Premier League and I always liked the way Arsenal played and everything about the club. So it's a dream come true in many ways.
“There were a lot [of Arsenal players I admired]. But I think Fabregas, for me, was one of my idols when I grew up. So especially him.
“The way he controls the game, the way he dictated the game, his ability to give assists and also score goals. Everything about his game. I tried to learn as much as possible when I grew up watching him. He was the top player.”
'AN AMAZING SIGNING'
In the third Eurosport vodcast in partnership with The Beautiful Game Podcast, Deji Odedina, Justin Cole and Marcus Foley agreed that moving to the Emirates would be a good move for Odegaard.
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SPAIN: AS GOOD AS PRIME OZIL
Eurosport Spain’s Felix Martin thinks Odegaard is as good as Mesut Ozil in his prime.
"Including Odegaard in the squad this season was an easy decision for Real Madrid," he told us. "He was one of the best players of La Liga last season, his performances for Real Sociedad were outstanding.
“He played 36 games, scoring seven goals (some of them were important, he scored against Atlético de Madrid or even Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey) and provided nine assists.
“His numbers speak for his performance and himself, that’s why it was obvious that Real would get him back, even though the loan contract said that he was supposed to stay two years in Real Sociedad.
“He’s a great player, a young guy, he’s only 22 and he can offer the magic a kid his age has. He’s very talented and he’s a very technical midfielder. He can play either as a number eight or ten, he can be a box-to-box midfielder, play behind the striker to assist him or even play wide on the right.
"He could actually be a great replacement for Ozil, he’s somehow similar to the prime version of the German midfielder, a player with a lot of imagination and a great technique that is definitely different.
"Odegaard would improve a lot his level if he played in the Premier League, in fact, I thought that if he had to leave Madrid he would sign for sure for an English team."
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