'Cesc Fabregas was one of my idols' - Martin Odegaard completes loan switch to Arsenal

Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard has joined Arsenal on loan for the remainder of the season.
'Cesc Fabregas was one of my idols' - Martin Odegaard completes loan switch to Arsenal

New Arsenal signing Martin Odegaard spent last season on loan at Real Sociedad. (Mike Egerton/PA)

Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard has joined Arsenal on loan for the remainder of the season.

Odegaard, 22, had found first-team opportunities hard to come by at the Bernabeu and was expected to depart during the current transfer window.

Having impressed on loan at Real Sociedad last season, it was initially anticipated that the Norway international would return for another stint.

But instead Arsenal made a move to take Odegaard to the Emirates Stadium.

“It’s great that we’ve secured Martin to come to us until the end of the season,” Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said.

“Martin is of course a player that we all know very well and although still young, he has been playing at the top level for a while.

“Martin will provide us with quality offensive options and we’re all excited to be integrating him into our plans between now and May.”

Odegaard revealed he spoke to Mikel Arteta before opting to join Arsenal. (Peter Cziborra/PA)

Odegaard revealed he spoke to Arteta before making the decision and was impressed by what the Spaniard had to say.

“I spoke to him before coming here, of course,” he told Arsenal.com.

“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.

“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.”

The Gunners had highlighted the need to bring in a player who can occupy a number of attacking midfield roles and Odegaard follows Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan in joining the club until the end of the current campaign.

Odegaard will link up with fellow Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos in north London but Arsenal have no option to buy either player this summer.

Arsenal already had Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos on loan for the season. (Tim Kerton/PA)

“Dani text me the other day and he had only good things to say about the club, the manager and everything,” Odegaard added.

“That was also important for me and he was happy for me to come here, so that was a good thing for me, to know someone here and to hear from someone inside the club as well. It’s good.

"It's always been a dream of mine to play in the Premier League. And I always liked the way Arsenal played. Cesc Fabregas, for me, was one of my idols."

While Odegaard is not injured, it would be a surprise to see him start against Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday given his lack of first-team football at Madrid in recent weeks.

The signing follows the exit of former Real Madrid man Mesut Ozil, who joined Fenerbache last week after his Arsenal contract was terminated.

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