Arsenal’s move for Martin Odegaard was one of few high-profile deals that went through during the January transfer window.
With clubs strapped for cash in the midst of a global pandemic and reluctant to offload players midway through a physically demanding season, the window was unusually quiet from start to finish.
Business was largely restricted to short-term loan deals as clubs aimed to make minor tweaks rather than wholesale changes.
Amid the unique circumstances of the window, Arsenal’s move for Martin Odegaard actually represented one of the most eye-catching deals of the month.
The Real Madrid youngster enjoyed an excellent stint at Real Sociedad during the 2019/20 campaign, scoring seven goals and providing nine assists in all competitions, and impressed with his propensity for creativity.
A natural left-footer who is at his most comfortable when operating between the lines of midfield and attack, the Norway international is almost a like-for-like replacement for Mesut Ozil.
The Gunners faithful are naturally excited about what he can bring to the club, and a recent verdict from transfer guru Fabrizio Romano is bound to add to that pervading feeling.
Indeed, while speaking to Sky Sports (13:47) on transfer deadline day, Romano named Odegaard as the signing of the window.
“I would go for Martin Odegaard [as the signing of the window so far] at Arsenal. He’s an amazing talent. It was a good opportunity on loan, with the option to discuss with Real Madrid in the summer. Signing this kind of player in January is not so easy.
“Arsenal were fast when they had the opportunity, when they understood the player wanted to leave Madrid. It was impossible in the first week of January but then the player asked to leave, Mikel Arteta called the player, and everything changed. It will be interesting to see him in the Premier League.”
GIVEMESPORT’s Jack Saville says…
There’s little doubt about the enormity of the 22-year-old’s talent and Arsenal’s move was certainly a wise one under the circumstances.
However, the north London outfit have a chequered history when it comes to January signings and the case of Denis Suarez proves that the transition from La Liga to the Premier League can be problematic following a mid-season transfer.
Moving to a new country, adapting to a new philosophy and gelling with new teammates are all processes that take time, but Odegaard – valued at £36m by Transfermarkt – doesn’t have that luxury having joined in the winter window.
If he can impress under such testing circumstances, though, then Arsenal will know they have a truly special player on their hands.