Odegaard bids farewell to Arsenal

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Martin Odegaard may have started the summer as Arsenal’s number one transfer target but after his contract ended this week, he’s written a farewell message that suggests he won’t be returning to the Emirates in the near future.

Mikel Arteta recruited the Norway international in January with a view to injecting a creative spark in the Gunners’ midfield and the 22-year-old quickly earned plaudits from the boss and fans for his performances in the number 10 role.

Two assists and two goals in 20 appearances aren’t arresting numbers but he was always very polished in a side that was anything but prior to his arrival.

Having been on the books at Real Madrid since he was 16, Odegaard returns to the Spanish capital hoping to persuade new/old boss Carlo Ancelotti that he’s worthy of regular game time at the Bernabeu.

Reflecting on his time as Gunner, Odegaard wrote on social media:

“Thank you so much for these 6 months. My time with the Arsenal family will always hold a special place in my heart.

“I wanna 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 are expecting to divert their attention and funds elsewhere as the build-up to the new season kicks up a gear.

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Goonerrific

Thanks for the memories. Even though they weren’t so great

Fabulous

It’s pretty decent all in all. I enjoyed his debut, that pile driver of a goal, and finally having someone in the team who can keep the ball in tight spaces.

Last season overall is a disappointment for sure. But Saka, ESR, Pepe’s (and ours) late season form, and Odegaard’s loan were the few bright spots for me.

Teta's cult of personality

He came, he saw, he did some stuff, he left – Martin Ødegaard’s Arsenal journey.

Atom

Disappointed not to be able to bring him back. With no European football and potentially a genuine chance to establish himself under a new/old manager at Madrid, I can see why he’s not coming back.

Johnny 4 Hats

Yeah, but quietly quite glad we haven’t broken the bank for him. Great little player but end product wasn’t great. Definitely worth £30m but if we’d gone big I would’ve had reservations.

I’ve got a feeling this story isn’t over. A few years warming the bench in Madrid and he may start dreaming of his time at The Emirates and wanting to rekindle the love.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

We must have been watching different players. His end product is phenomenal.

Johnny 4 Hats

I was watching on itv hub. It took him ages to take a corner.

Teta's cult of personality

You’re sure that wasn’t just your broadband acting up again?

Cultured Determination

Get a smaller tv 🙂

Fatgooner

He won’t make it at Real Madrid: he’s not good enough. My guess is that he’ll end up at an Everton or Leicester something in the future.

Anders Limpar

I reckon there are more Leicester current first teamers that would get it into our squad than vice a versa…

Sheldon

Really wonder who we are going to get at 10. I have a feeling Saka is going to play there eventually.

Amacranian

Emile Smith Rowe

Daveo

And of he’s injured? The great one himself: Senhor Borges da Silva.

Amacranian

Lets hope he does not get injured 🙏

Fabulous

Smith Rowe is the only creative midfield outlet we have. Abit chuffed we missed out on Buendia who would’ve taken some of the creative burden in the team. Playmaking midfielder is really something we need, alongside a strong ballwinner. I like the look of Lokonga, who would be a decent alternative to Bissouma at a cheaper price. He’s also Belgian, so no AFCON distractions. Navares looks complete, would be solid if we can offload Sead the other way. Get a first team RB, and a creative midfielder and we’re all set. Not hoping for much but if we can get… Read more »

Kostas

Personally I am satisfied with ESR as first option and Willock as plan b. The question “what if he is injuried?” applies to every position. I am not sure we can afford too many players of that calibre as backups

Teta's cult of personality

I think Willock has a role in this team but not as a playmaker. I think he’s more of a dynamic ball-carrier. His playing style is more like Leon Goretzka.

Placing a creative onus on him is how ended up looking below average under Arteta.

Hank Scorpio

Not like for like. Willock is not a # 10. More of a case of switching to 4-3-3 from 4-2-3-1. Assuming that Xhaka goes and Lokonga arrives, I wouldn’t mind another midfielder. Perhaps one that with some flexibility to play a few roles. Feels like we missed an opportunity with Buendia. Can’t see Locatelli happening and the Maddison rumour is just silly.

Merlin’s Panini

We’d have to have a different game plan with Willock. He’s more the guy you want arriving in the box and carrying the ball up rather than the one creating chances.

karl

Do the more successful teams actually play with a No10 anymore? Even Arteta suggested his preference was 433.

I wonder how much this obsession with a new and expensive attacking midfielder has to do with Smith Rowe not signing his contract yet. I see him as far more than an old fashioned play maker and is so positive in his style.

loose_cannon

Bayern are the only ones that do it consistently, with Muller at 10. City and Liverpool play 4-2-3-1 occasionally as well, but it’s mostly 4-3-3.

A Different George

This is misleading. Many top sides include a player who–at least sometimes–functions as a 10: he is generally positioned behind the striker(s), but well in front of the holding midfielder(s), has freedom to move across the width of the pitch, and his main attacking responsibility is on the ball looking for runners, rather than making runs into the box without the ball himself. De Bruyne, Gundogan and even Foden play this role for City (sometimes–not rigidly), Griezmann for Barca and France, Fernandes for Man United, and plenty of others.

loose_cannon

I didn’t mention France because I was only considering club teams. Point taken on Barca, I didn’t see much of them last season, so couldn’t comment.

I mentioned City above, but it’s fair to say that they don’t normally play with a solitary attacking midfielder. With Silva and Aguero starting, it was more easily recognisable as a 4-3-3, nowadays it’s a bit more fluid but more or less the same.

Karl asked about the more successful teams, so I omitted Fernandes and United!

DialSquareGoon

Actually appreciate him doing this. Now we all know he’s off the table. Over to you, Arteta & Edu.

Takeshita

Yes over to Edu who is still smoking his cigar like a badass but hasn’t done anything meaningful until now. And I am told Poundland Pep is trying to copy-paste his master’s tactics having failed miserably last season.

A M

best of luck in your future endeavours!
we’ll always remember that performance away to west ham, and those 2 goals vs olympiakos and spurs

David Hilliers Arm Cast

He must have wondered what he had gotten himself into against the hammers, brought out the best in him

Poe

I hope someone sits and counts the cost of making him our number one target this summer. I honestly could not see it but I thought Edu and the gang were on to something. Turns out it was all smoke. I honestly think we get Buendia if we were not blinded by Odegaard. There are no guarantees with him but I felt he had a lot of the qualities we badly need in that position.

SharpasFc

It made sense to make Odegaard the No.1 target as he was already assimilated into the team. Buendia was never a serious target IMO. His season in the Championship looks impressive but I doubt he will put up such numbers back in the PL and you could even argue the fact that Villa are trying to get Smith Rowe suggests that they aren’t putting all their eggs in the Buendia basket.

Poe

I know Mikel favours a “passer” in the number 10 position, that’s why ESR shifts to the wing for Odegaard in most games but what does Odegaard give you that we could not have got from a prime Ozil? I felt we should be looking for a different type of player, one who can lead the press from the front, tackle, intercept, pass, create assists and score goals. Buendia fit that profile for me. Honestly, if I could have my way, I would have all 3 of ESR, Odegaard and Buendia. That way we have a good contingent of complementing… Read more »

Teta's cult of personality

I agree. Odegaard plays like Özil and Havertz but Buendia isn’t a midfielder, so he’d probably work best in an attack with Saka/Pepe on one side, ESR/Ødegaard in the middle and him on the other wing.

I personally would like a creative midfielder who can play as the offensive midfielder in a three man midfield. Someone like Kudus or Pereira in a 4-3-3. I’m not really a fan of the 4-2-3-1.

A Different George

I don’t want to re-open an old topic, but if Odegaard could give us (or Real, for that matter) the same as a “prime Ozil” he would be worth around triple what he is now. The issue that divided Arsenal supporters involved the value of a sub-prime Ozil–as both sides of that debate would surely agree.

Mekus

I see u still haven’t gotten over Buendia. We need a CAM and Buendia is a right winger/midfielder – more Willian than Odegaard. Granted, he’s played as an attacking mid, but that was four years ago in the spanish second tier

Poe

I honestly have not. I thought it was such a low hanging fruit that it feels criminal not to have gotten him. In retrospect, I would have gotten him even if Odegaard was the main target. He can play as an inverted winger but also as the 10 albeit a bit differently from how Odegaard plays it.

Daveo

I think you’re spot on. He’s exactly what we needed. If we signed him everyone here would have been ecstatic. Most have moved onto the explaining it away phase – he wasn’t a real target anyway (despite all the reputable arsenal journos reporting serious interest or bids) or he isn’t good enough. Well next will be Odegaard wasn’t a real target, there are already three inevitable – free wasn’t that great anyway on this very post, and Fekir had been our guy all along. Cynical? Absolutely. Arsenal management has a lot to prove this summer and I’m well short of… Read more »

sAMa

The Willian part got me. We don’t want anymore of Willians please.

Maul Person

Class is permanent, I think they say.

Kostas

MØ played well for us! But I can also see his point of view.

Personally I prefer ESR on that position even though he seems injury prone.

ESR glues together the front line amazingly and I haven’t seen him playing with Saka Pepe and Aubameyang upfront.

Some may think it is unbalanced but ESR can glue them me thinks

shokim

Best of luck in your future, Martin.

Gabigol

I enjoyed that spell of games where we did well with ESR as the conduit of our attack. Then Ode comes in and ESR gets rested. The games they played together weren’t bad, but I just enjoy watching ESR create something with his one touch pass and move around the box which suddenly quickens the game and then you realise he has taken two opposition players out of the game. I know he needed a rest, but I would have loved to see him get a little bit more extended run rather than accommodate Ode immediately. When ode got into… Read more »

Cultured Determination

See you in january, my friend!

Mcheza

Cruel 🤣🤣🤣🤣

Qwaliteee

Given the state of the club, you can’t blame the lad for wanting to go back to Real.

That said, he didn’t exactly pull up any trees during his time here either. He was ok, but unspectacular.

We still have the better player in ESR.

Aokaparagit

Touching but we don’t need him.. Some links are getting on ma nerves —Zielinski and Maddison?!! What happened to the Sabitzer and Aouar links? These are cheaper and quality alternatives.. The one tht makes me more sick is Camavinga’s link.. I mean, £86mil for an 18 year old?! Ya right.. it’s different if we had the funds ya know. Even Tottenham have much more realistic target. phew!

UzesGooner

Sabitzer is no better than Xhaka IMO…..Aouar, yes – sign him up immediately for £20m !! Camavinga looks superb and is in the last year of his contract so would be £40m max, which is still a lot but he could be worth it. Another one worth a mention is van de Beek ?

Nainsley Aitland Miles

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Coutinho rumours again.

Dubai Ham

nothing special, just a good player but we have plenty of good players. Willock if given the chance would have scored 2 and assisted two. He actually scored 8 at Newcastle. Bye

sAMa

But Willock was actually given a chance but he didn’t impress. What if Newcastle’s pattern suits him better?

Teta's cult of personality

What chances was he given? Under Arteta, he only got proper gametime in the Europa League (3G + 3A). The vast majority of his time under Arteta, he was coming on in the final minutes of our games. In 2019-20, he had 1 league start under Arteta (3-0 Man City). He scored 1 goal against Southampton and had 1 assist against Wolves in 39 minutes of game time. In 2020-21, he had 2 league starts as a no.10 under Arteta. The rest of his minutes came from late substitutions. Steve Bruce used him properly in a 3 man midfield. In… Read more »

karl

A loan was about right and he did play really well in a few matches. Overall I found him to passive for a team filled with the same kind of players. Technically brilliant, but rarely driving forward.

UzesGooner

So, why don’t we buy Aouar while he’s only £20m??? He can play CM and number 10…..

karl

I think we dodged a bullet with him at £60m.

Boff

Renato Sanches

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Vieira to Palace. I guess that means he’s no longer a member of Daniel Ek’s consortium.

Javoroncov

Good job spending 1/3 of the summer waiting for someone who doesnt want to come.
Just like in love, never wait for sb who treats u like a second choice.

Naija Gunner

Sad to see him leave, but he’s not the only good player we have we just have to trust and make our players give their 100% while wearing the shirt for the Arsenal.