I still remember the moment that Martin Odegaard signed for Real Madrid. A Norway international at the age of 15 and signing for more than £2million as a 16-year-old in 2016 was a massive story, despite how naïve we would be of the prices for similarly aged players that were mere years away.
Arsenal were one of the teams interested in the then Stromsgodset starlet but when Los Blancos came calling, it is understandable he decided to move to Madrid. However, the Gunners never waned in their gaze toward the improving attacking midfielder and when the time arrived that he would leave the Spanish capital, Mikel Arteta had already shown what he could get by coming to north London with that loan spell in 2021.
Arsenal have built such a brilliant squad over the past three to four years with the partnership of Arteta with now sporting director Edu turning the side from a team in Premier League purgatory into title challengers with expectations growing all the time. Bringing in young players with great potential was always part of that.
Martin Odegaard signs new long-term Arsenal contract amid 'special' admission
It started with the likes of William Saliba and Gabriel Martinelli before Edu really had his legs under the desk, and certainly before Arteta was even the head coach, although he’d come pretty close to it prior to Unai Emery’s appointment. Odegaard followed in the footsteps of deals by the Spaniard for Gabriel Magalhaes, Ben White, Nuno Tavares and Albert Sambi Lokonga.
Some have worked and some haven’t. Certainly the continuation from the deal for Odegaard that has seen Aaron Ramsdale, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Gabriel Jesus and more to the side since has witnessed a massive list of hits compared to misses.
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