According to supposedly well informed media sources we are making an active attempt to sign Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid on a permanent basis.
The Norwegian attacking midfielder made a generally good impression during his Arsenal loan spell, although it’s fair to say he did not convince everyone that he was a “must have’ for the team moving forward.
The potential for a full transfer is unclear because of Zidane’s departure from Los Blancos, but the story has not gone away.
So, two questions:
Do you think we should sign the 22-year-old?
If so, how much should we prepared to pay for him?
On the first point, there are a few factors that weigh in favour of completing the deal if possible: Arteta really likes the player; the coaching team have had a chance to get a really good look at him up close; he will fit back in to the Arsenal set-up without any need of an adjustment or settling-in period; he’s young and would have sell-on transfer value in a few years time; his potential is high.
The factors against him: if we’re looking to move to the next level and secure Champions League football for the 22/23 season, is he the best we can get for a CAM? Not all would agree that he did enough in his loan spell to demonstrate that he is the man to bring back the glory days; signing him would be the easy option and might make us overlook the opportunity to bring in someone better.
On balance I would be up for signing him if the price makes sense, which brings us on to question two.
With sums like £30-35m being mooted for Buendia, a deal for Odegaard that did not exceed £30m would be a no-brainer in my humble opinion.
At a push I would not be unhappy to see us go to £35m for him (again, he’s young enough that he will have sell-on value in the future), but if the asking price goes much beyond that then we should be looking at alternatives.
With all the squad development that needs to happen at Arsenal during this close season (and with the distraction of the Euros delaying a lot of potential transfer activity) I can imagine that signing Odegaard would remove one big item from Arteta’s “To Do” list: he would have filled a key role with a player who will not need all the extra work of acclimatisation and adjustment that a complete newcomer would have.
An attacking line-up next season that comprised members of Auba, Saka, Pepe, Martinelli, ESR and Odegaard looks pretty fine to me (provided we can find a formation that brings the best out of Auba).
Over to you.