Arsenal have completed the £30m signing of Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid on a five-year contract.
The attacking midfielder spent the second half of last season on loan in north London, making 14 appearances in the Premier League, and Mikel Arteta had made it a priority to secure the Norwegian on a permanent deal.
A deal proved difficult to negotiate at the start of the window, though, with Real Madrid’s refusing to budge on their valuation. Arsenal were forced to consider other targets and bid for Emiliano Buendia earlier in the window, but with Madrid needing to generate funds from player sales, Odegaard was recently left out of their La Liga squad by Carlo Ancelotti and talks were reignited with Arsenal.
Asked what he would add to his squad, Arsenal boss Arteta said: “A lot of things that he brought last season, he made us better, we needed more options and alternatives for creativity.
“He is still a really young man but he has huge experiences in clubs already and has unique talents for the way we want to play so I am really pleased the club have made the effort.”
Arteta also confirmed the club are close to completing a deal for Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
“There is still some paperwork but his medical is done, still a few things to sort with Sheffield,” he added. “I think they’re [Arsenal fans] going to love his personality, his character, the quality that he has as a goalkeeper and what he’s going to offer. He has a huge, huge potential.”
Arsenal confirmed that Odegaard will not be available to face Chelsea this Sunday due to a delay waiting for visa clearance. He will wear the No 8 shirt.
Odegaard, who joined Madrid as a 16-year-old in 2015, only made 11 appearances for the first team, spending the majority of his time on loan, with spells at Heerenveen, Vitesse Arnhem and Real Sociedad before Arsenal.
He becomes the club’s fourth new signing this summer following the acquisitions of Ben White, Nuno Tavares and Albert Sambi Lokonga.