The chances of Arsenal keeping Martin Odegaard beyond this season have taken a hit, with a report claiming Real Madrid want him back.
Arsenal signed Odegaard on loan for the rest of the season in January, after he had struggled to make an impact in the first half of the campaign in Madrid.
Much was expected of the Norwegian at the Bernabeu after a positive 2019-20 season on loan at fellow La Liga outfit Real Sociedad.
However, he only managed three starts in La Liga back with his parent club. Hence, they allowed him to leave for another loan spell – his fourth away from the club – at Arsenal.
Things have started fairly positive for the 22-year-old at his new club. He has already started two Premier League games and has come off the bench in two others.
There has already been talk of Arsenal trying to sign Odegaard permanently in the summer. Manager Mikel Arteta has made no secret of that desire, recently hailing the midfielder’s leadership qualities.
However, he knows that “it doesn’t just depend on us”. And now, a report has claimed that Madrid are keen to reintegrate Odegaard next season.
According to Marca, Madrid have been impressed by Odegaard’s form so far at Arsenal. They are seeing the kind of performances they were expecting from him earlier this season.
However, there was a key reason why Odegaard was not able to perform to his maximum in Madrid. The report reminds that he had a tendonitis issue in his knee, which was treated before the start of the campaign.
Even so, he had not fully recovered and had also missed out on some crucial weeks of pre-season. It set him up for a tough campaign.
Now, he has finally shaken off the knee issue, meaning he is more comfortable on the pitch. His newly regained freedom is bringing out the best in him again.
Therefore, Madrid are ready to give him another chance next season. That will wreck Arsenal’s plans to sign him permanently.
Odegaard signing was ‘unnecessary’
Should Odegaard head back to Spain, there will likely be a feeling of disappointment among many Gunners fans.
However, one man who will be less disheartened is club legend Tony Adams, who recently branded the addition of the playmaker in January as “unnecessary”.
“To be honest, there’s an argument that you don’t need Martin Odegaard,” he said earlier this month.
“I got so annoyed that we bought [Nicolas] Pepe and Willian in when you’ve got two kids [Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka] bursting into the team.
“There’s other areas in the team that you could look at; there’s holes in that team, we saw how fragile they are defensively. The defence has always been the weak link.
“As the sporting director of Arsenal, you wouldn’t be getting Odegaard in. You’d be getting good, strong defenders into the team instead.”