Martin Odegaard has bid an emotional farewell to Arsenal, thanking the club for making him feel like part of their family.
Odegaard spent the second half of the 2020-21 season on loan at Arsenal from Real Madrid, where he was struggling for gametime. He made a decent impression in north London, playing 14 times in the Premier League and six in the Europa League. From those appearances, he managed two goals and two assists.
Arsenal were considering a permanent deal for the Norway international. However, it soon became clear that Madrid wanted to reintegrate him from next season onwards.
The Spanish giants invested in him when he was just a teenager and still hope he can flourish at the Bernabeu. Therefore, Arsenal were unable to lure him back to London on a permanent basis.
Odegaard recently confirmed he would be returning to Real and he has since taken the chance to thank Arsenal for his six-month stint there.
“Arsenal, thank you so much for these six months,” he wrote on social media.
“My time with the Arsenal family will always hold a special place in my heart.
“I want to thank everyone in and around the club for the way you made me feel like a part of the family since the first day.
“Special thanks to the fans, even without you guys at the stadium for the majority of the season, I felt you with me at all times.
“A huge thank you to the boss and his staff for everything I’ve learned during my stay.
“Thank you also to all my teammates for such a great time on and off the pitch. Will miss you all.
“Thank you, Gunners family. Always in my heart.”
Arsenal eye Serie A midfielder
Following the departure of Odegaard and his Real Madrid colleague Dani Ceballos, Arsenal have a hole to fill in their midfield.
A recent report from Il Mattino claimed they are looking at Napoli midfielder Piotr Zielinski as a potential transfer target.
Born in Poland, whom he represents internationally, Zielinski has spent his entire club career in Italy. But if Arsenal decide to make a move, that could soon change.
At the age of 27, he is in the prime of his career. Napoli have used him regularly since signing him in 2016; he made 47 appearances and scored 10 goals last season. But now they are undergoing a minor transition.
Luciano Spalletti has replaced Gennaro Gattuso as head coach and the squad could now undergo a transformation. The club have made it clear that nobody is unsellable, so there could be an opportunity for Arsenal to get Zielinski.
His price tag is not clear, but he is still under contract until 2024. Therefore, Arsenal will have to make the right offer if they really want Zielinski.
But the fact that Napoli are not completely opposed to his sale should give the Gunners some confidence.