Martin Odegaard’s choice of kit number upon signing for Arsenal could yet prove crucial in allowing him to extend his loan deal with the Gunners, a report has claimed.
Arsenal added the 22-year-old midfielder to their ranks on Wednesday in a deal until the end of the season.
The Norway international will add vital creativity to the north London side after losing his way at Real Madrid.
But according to Defensa Central, Odegaard has given himself the platform to extend his deal if he wishes.
Indeed, Arsenal gave him the choice of either the number 10 or number 11 jersey upon signing.
But he chose the latter, owing to a consideration for Emile Smith Rowe‘s future plans at Arsenal.
The academy graduate, who currently wears 32, has announced himself as a core part of Mikel Arteta’s ranks. After entering the scene during Arsenal’s wretched recent run, his performances have helped turn things around.
As such, he is planning to take Mesut Ozil’s number 10 strip, following the 32-year-old’s long-awaited exit.
In response, Odegaard picked 11, aware that doing so would increase his chances of staying next season. Lucas Torreira previously wore that strip, but his future at the Emirates Stadium looks highly uncertain.
The Uruguayan moved to Atletico Madrid on loan in October but it remains unclear if he remains part of the plan.
As such, should Odegaard impress and warrant an extension – or perhaps even a permanent deal – the number 11 shirt could be staying with its current bearer.
Odegaard could make his first appearance for Arsenal in Saturday’s Premier League clash with Manchester United.
Solskjaer wary of Odegaard threat
Speaking to the press on Friday, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer talked about his fellow Norwegian’s talents.
“Martin is a very talented young player,” Solskjaer said. “We know from the national team that he can cause anyone problems.
“Just hope he isn’t finding his form on Saturday! We wish him all the best.”