Arsenal signs Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid

Arsenal unveil new loan signing Martin Odegaard at London Colney on January 27, 2021 in St Albans, England.

LONDON — Arsenal has signed Norway midfielder Martin  Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid for the rest of the season, the latest step in the career of a player who is looking to fulfil the promise he showed after making his international debut as a 15-year-old.

Odegaard has been at Madrid since 2015 — when he joined at the age of 16 — but failed to establish himself at the Spanish giant and has had loan spells at Heerenveen and Vitesse Arnhem in the Netherlands and then at Real Sociedad last season.

Following the departure of Mesut Ozil to Fenerbahce last week, the 22-year-old Odegaard will provide competition in the attacking-midfield department at Arsenal.

“Martin is, of course, a player that we all know very well,” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said on Wednesday, “and although still young, he has been playing at the top level for a while. Martin will provide us with quality offensive options.”

Odegaard was the youngest ever player to feature in Norway’s top division when he made his debut for Stromsgodset at 15 in April 2014. He made his first senior international appearance the following August — as Norway’s youngest debutant — before joining Madrid five months later, when he was billed as one of Europe’s most talented youngsters.

Emile Smith Rowe, 20, currently plays in the No. 10 role at Arsenal under Arteta, who has been keen to promote youth since taking charge in December 2019.

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