Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta believes that he has given Martin Odegaard a persuasive taste of the club which could swing a permanent summer deal.
As it stands, the midfielder will return to Real Madrid after completing his half-season loan spell. The Norway international moved across Europe in January to solve the Gunners’ lack of a creative spark in midfield. Indeed, he has succeeded in that mission, playing 14 Premier League games and contributing to three goals.
Odegaard has previously revealed that he is open to staying at the Emirates Stadium.
He told the Premier League in April: “I’m really happy. Everything is good here at the club. I’ve felt at home since the first day, I get on really well with my team-mates and everyone at the club. I feel really good.”
However, reports have claimed that Madrid see him as ‘non-transferable’. After a strong season in the English top flight, they supposedly believe that the 22-year-old is ready to step properly into their team.
Speaking after Arsenal’s victory over Brighton to end their season, Arteta reiterated his stance on the situation.
He also said that he hopes to have given Odegaard the inspiration to come back and progress at Arsenal.
“Well we have a very clear and strong opinion on what we would like to do,” the manager told his pre-match press conference (via Arsenal.com).
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“He’s not our player. We’ll have discussions in the next few weeks, but first of all we need to respect that he’s a Real Madrid player. We’ll have those communications.
“We’ve tried to make everything that we could to get Martin performing for the team, which I think he’s done, and he has adapted really well to our way of playing and to our football club.
“Hopefully we have given him the hope and the feeling that this could be a good place for him.”
Pressed again on whether Odegaard could sign a permanent deal, Arteta said: “I don’t know. It’s not in our hands. I don’t know.”
Arteta names frustrating Arsenal aspect
If Odegaard does come back, though, he will join an Arsenal team that will not be playing European football.
Despite the Gunners’ 2-0 win over Brighton on Sunday, they finished eighth after Tottenham’s win over Leicester ensured they finished seventh.
As such, Arteta named the frustrating aspect of his side’s season.