Arsenal on Friday completed the signing of Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid for a reported fee between 35 to 40 million euros.
The 22-year-old has agreed a five-year contract to return to the club where he played on loan for the second half of last season, making 20 appearances and scoring two goals.
“He made us better [last season], we needed more options and alternatives for creativity. He is still a really young man but he has huge experience already and has unique talents for the way we want to play, so I am really pleased the club have made the effort,” commented Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta.
The move ends nearly seven years at Real Madrid for Odegaard, but despite showing enormous promise and impressing on successive loan spells with Dutch clubs Heerenveen and Vitesse Arnhem and La Liga side Real Sociedad, Odegaard has never been able to hold down a regular place in the Real Madrid squad, making just 11 first-team appearances for the capital outfit.
Odegaard has played for Norway 30 times and made his international debut in 2014 when he was just 15 years old.
It is thought that Real Madrid will use the money from Odegaard’s sale to help finance a bid for Paris Saint-Germain’s French international striker Kylian Mbappe before the end of August, although it is uncertain whether the French club will be willing to sell.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are also close to a deal to sign goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale from Championship side Sheffield United