Martin Odegaard is reportedly interesting Arsenal and it’s easy to see why.
The young Norweigan set the world alight at Real Sociedad last season. Playing primarily as a number 10, he was the sort of creative force the Gunners desperately need. Emile Smith-Rowe has done very well since coming into the first team, but it’s a big ask for him to be Arsenal’s main creative force, given his lack of experience.
Odegaard would also be able to play on the wing, so as not to halt Smith Rowe’s development.
At 22, Real Madrid could be unwilling to sell, but a loan would be great for all parties. In terms of numbers, Odegaard would be a refreshing creative addition to the Gunners.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid could rest assured Odegaard would be playing regular football at a high level. At Sociedad, he got four goals and six assists in La Liga, a decent return.
However, it’s in his underlying numbers where Arsenal will find the most encouragement.
Odegaard averaged 2.1 key passes per 90 minutes as well as completing more than 5 passes into the final third per 90 last season. However, he’s actually increased his passes into the final third since going back to Madrid, hitting an average of 6.15.
Bringing him in will surely increase the creative numbers, which Arsenal badly need to correct.
Despite having forwards of the calibre of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, the Gunners goal numbers are poor. Alexandre Lacazette is their top league scorer, with seven.
Meanwhile, their goal tally of 23 is the worst in the top half of the Premier League. If they harbour ambitions to qualify for the Champions League, these numbers have to improve.
Signing Odegaard would be a sensible move for Mikel Arteta to try and extract some goals from his team. If he could also convince Madrid to make any move for the Norweigan permanent, he’d have a creative midfielder for the next 10 years or more.
With a stable of young talent including Odegaard, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli, he’d have a collection of young players that would be envied by most clubs in Europe.