Arsenal have completed the signing of midfielder Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid, the club announced on Friday.
Odegaard, 22, spent last season on loan with the Premier League club and scored two goals in 20 appearances.
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Odegaard returned to Spain this summer and attempted to break into Madrid’s first team but was told by new manager Carlo Ancelotti that he would face competition for a regular place.
Sources told ESPN that the key breakthrough was Madrid’s decision earlier this month to drop their asking price from €60 million to €45m.
“You’ve seen the numbers and what we did after Christmas when Martin was in the team and we had people like Emile, the team performed at a completely different level,” manager Mikel Arteta said in a news conference on Friday.
“He’s someone that we admire and he’s still at the age in his career when the potential he has is still immense.
“He made us better, we needed more options, alternatives, creativity and players that can be morals for this football club. He is still a really young man, but he has huge experience in different clubs already.
“He has a unique talent based on the way we want to play so I’m delighted that the club has made an effort and we have Martin on a permanent deal here.”
Welcome høme, Martin Ødegaard ??? pic.twitter.com/OUlG9YGDKj
– Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 20, 2021
Arsenal needed to offload midfielder Joe Willock to Newcastle United in a deal worth £25m to help finance the Odegaard transfer and create space in the squad.
Odegaard becomes Arsenal’s fourth signing this season after Ben White, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares joined the club earlier this summer.
The club said in a statement that Odegaard, who will wear the No. 8 shirt, will not be available for Arsenal’s upcoming Premier League clash against Chelsea on Sunday.
Arteta said a deal to sign Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale was close to completion.
“We will see, there’s still some paperwork getting done,” he said. “He had his medical almost done. There are a few things with Sheffield [United] still to be resolved. We are going to have to wait.”