Over the last couple of days, stories have emerged from Spain suggesting that Martin Odegaard is open to a return to Arsenal.

The Norway international joined us on loan from Real Madrid last January, making 20 appearances in all, and impressing many – not least Mikel Arteta – along the way.

The Spanish giants appeared to have given him assurances over his involvement at the Bernebeu next season, and the 22 year old even released a statement thanking the Gunners and the fans which seemed to close the door on a return.

However, the rumour mill is swirling with stories that Odegaard would like to come back to North London.

With Real Madrid desperate for cash to offset some of their gigantic debt, there’s room to do a deal, as Raphael Varane’s £35m move to Man Utd has demonstrated.

Odegaard currently has two years left on his contract, and although he has a valuation of around €40m, it’s not an impossible figure for Arsenal to reach if it goes that high. The presence of Emile Smith Rowe allows some room to let this one play out a bit longer, perhaps right until the end of the window.

Arsenal have been linked with other attacking midfielders, but it has always felt like this would be Arteta’s first choice. The relationship between the player and the manager is a strong one, and Odegaard felt at home during his spell in red and white last season.

It does feel like this one isn’t quite dead yet. We did a smart deal bringing him in on loan, can we do it again this summer?

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Sak Lac & Craic

Please. Just not Maddison!

Frank Bascombe

Thank you. Nice to know I’m not the only one.

IamaGoober

Anyone else not particularly interested in either player? For the amount of money Madrid would want for Odegaard, I am not too convinced he’d be worth it. He hardly set the place on fire when he was here. Sure he looked okay, but what, he got like 1 assist? That’s not really enough output for me. As for Maddison, he’s a fine player. But he’s got such a troubling injury record that we all know would only exponentially get worse as soon as he signs for Arsenal. And then there is the fee.. he is worth no way near £60M.… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Top post. Spot on.

Johnny 4 Hats

Got to disagree with you there pal. Not that I think Odegaard isn’t wonderful. But Maddison has a well proven track record in the top flight of football, much higher assists and goals, is a very good free kick taker and has an excellent long shot. Odegaard is technically a better player perhaps. Maybe smarter too. But I think Odegaard fits a little more in the Ozil mould and we will get disappointed that he drifts in and out of games. When we play well, he’ll play well and vice versa. For me Maddison has the snap and tenacity we… Read more »

Futsboller

I’d take Odegaard. I think his fit with the team and manager cannot be underrated, and Maddison has had far too much contact with that cigarette butt of a human being, Vardy — the smell doesn’t go away.

jw1

Maddison’s hip injury is a two-fold worry. The first is obvious; an injury that required surgery. The second being the supposed cause. Apparently (and something I’d read at The Athletic), Maddison’s free kick technique is at the center of his hip issues. He seems to strike the ball more toward the heel of his foot than the instep– which generates the power and bend he’s known for. It also seems to create quite a bit more torque on the hip joint/ball and socket and attendant muscles and ligaments. Maddison is a fine creative player– one I’d not usually hesitate to… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

Thanks for this. A really interesting post. And certainly his technique is idiosyncratic and important to the amount of whip and dip he is able to achieve. I’d assume if it was a genuine concern that Leicester may be less inclined to hard ball us. But it’s an interesting stipulation. Cheers!

Naigooner

Madison might cost over 60M. How about Neves and Odegaard for 60m combined. Neves to offer the tenacity and MO the technique.

Johnny 4 Hats

That would be great. But given that Neves alone is valued at £35-£40m I’m not sure we’ll pull that one off.

Parisian Weetabix

I’m curious to know if anyone shares this opinion, but for purely sentimental reasons I’m more drawn to the idea of buying Odegaard just because I feel like he would really be ours in a way that he hasn’t yet been anyone else’s. I miss the days when we used to buy players and make them: Fabregas, van Persie, Nasri, Hleb all made their names at Arsenal, and because of that (whatever may have happened later) they always felt like inherently Arsenal players. Perhaps it’s because I’m jaded by the Willians and David Luiz’s and Petr Cech’s who never fully… Read more »

The Beast

Agree 100%. I’ve got nothing against Maddison, he’s obviously quality, but I’d much rather see Ødegaard come of age with the rest of our young core.

Seemed as though he clicked with the side & watching him drag us back into the west ham match last season pretty much solidified him as an arsenal player for me.

...and really bad eggs

Totally agree. Also I believe, and maybe this is just the optimist in me, that Odegaard has a second gear that he didn’t get the chance to hit with us last season. There was a period when he was on loan at Real Sociedad, where he was damn near the best midfielder in La Liga over a couple of months.

I think he needs to feel that stability that comes with knowing you’re at a club long term, for us to really see his quality. I’ll be excited if we sign him permanently.

Santa’s Thigh Grab

Weetabix for the dub.

Walter White

Would be perfect

El Mintero

Nope. Another over-rated Madrid reject.

Mayor McCheese

Deemed not good enough for Madrid describes about 99.99% of professional footballers in the world. Odegaard may not be what Madrid fully want right now (though that might have more to do the fact that Madrid always pursue new shiny toys rather than develop their own), but I think he elevates the quality of our squad, and in turn we present him with an opportunity to really hone his game at a club that would actually be committed to him, something he hasn’t really ever had in his career to this point.

Santi

You’re goddamn right

weeble

Please refrain from using the Lords name. I can think of many more suitable and not offensive

Con

Take your primitive medieval philosophy elsewhere please.

John

I can see a perfect triangle: we but Odegaard. Newcastle help finance it by buying Willock. And Real Madrid fill the gap in their squad by buying Joelinton.

Goonerink

I’d take him back but really I’d prefer more of an 8. And at 40m and high wages I hope we can afford him.

Petit's Handbag

Maybe another year on loan with obligation to buy next summer? Leaves us with funds (hopefully) to get that number 8. Sounds too sensible to be real

A Different George

I think Madrid want money now. In fact, it seems to be only English clubs that can afford to “lend” their players and wait a year to get paid.

Genie's Bottle

Sounds great! But, if I like him, I’ll buy him now and let him fully focus on building a successful career here. Stop all talks about whether he should stay or go mid way through the season.

Prakhar

Would be worth doing up to 60M for me. The attacking midfielder has to be our marquee signing of this window. None of our players were in league’s top 40 of chance creators last season. That’s relegation squad quality in pure chance creation. We lack the final ball specialists, Smith-Rowe is a brilliant link-up speed-up player and we need a through-ball merchant.

utk v

I disagree, we are in much bigger need of a proper 8. Not a Xhaka or a Elneny

Prakhar

You make a good point. That proper 8 will define the identity of this team. I think when Xhaka leaves, that signing is almost guaranteed due to it’s importance. I am not worried there. Replacing Xhaka would be an improvement, but getting that attacking midfielder whose passes turn into shots will be a transformational improvement. We already have players ready to run onto those passes, we just need to get that player. Remember, none of our players were in league’s top 40 for chance creation, that is incredibly bad for an Arsenal squad and our playing culture of free flowing… Read more »

Flash

Well said!

+ What if Arteta is thinking about the possibility of using the 433 formation.
Party or Lokonga deeper and Odegaard/ESR ahead?
(like Bousquets/Xavi/Iniesta?) 🙂

A Different George

I think this is, in fact, the model that Arteta would love to be able to emulate. And it requires something else, beyond a Busquets figure: confident, ball-playing centre-halves who move the ball quickly, but know they will sometimes be left alone to defend a counter. The front triangle of Iniesta/Xavi/Busquets was mirrored by a rear triangle of Puyol/Pique/Busquets. (Obviously it’s not just a “formula” that can be applied to any club, because most players simply aren’t as good as those five.)

weeble

lets hope so.

Martin Haze

We still haven’t replaced our last #8, Ramsey.

Sachin

Or our last great #4, Vieira

kasgood

When are Leno, Xhaka,Torreria returning to training if they hkaven’t signed for another club, they should be at Colney?

Qwaliteee

Top post.

I’ve been saying this for ages.

We lack a through-ball player and have done so since Arteta dropped Ozil.

Odegaard is not that player. We need a top drawer attacking midfielder that can supply the forwards.

Otherwise we’ll be pissing in the wind all season yet again.

DPK

That the same Ozil you said promised you would never mention again ? That’s going well 👍

Qwaliteee

Almost as well as the search for his replacement….

Jules

I would prefer him AND an 8. If we don’t sign a xhaka replacement (read: improvement) we will sorely regret it next season. Give partey a good partner, that’s a midfield duo to be reckoned with. And before you say it, I believe lokonga was signed as an understudy and reliable back up should we need him, not to be immediately thrown into the first team.

Gus Caesar

I think we all would, but we need to find the money somewhere.

Didrik Plehn

We have the money, when White arrives we have used almost £75 million. They need to get rid of more players before they can buy the last two or three…

Qwaliteee

Stan Kroenke and/or the back of the Board Room sofa.

Good luck with both…..

John C

We’ll get both, we just have to be patient.

Given the economic climate surrounding European clubs it means we’ll have to wait towards the end of the window for the pieces to fall into place.

The one thing we have to make sure the club doesn’t do is give Chelsea £40m for Abraham so they can reinvest in the vastly superior Haaland!!

Qwaliteee

No sign of Grealish yet….

What’s going on with your idol (idle?) Kroenke and his magical open cheque book…..?

Daveo

We just signed one. Lokonga. Just because he didn’t cost 50M quid doesn’t mean he can’t do a job. He has a lot of first team experience in Belgium and already captain and is exactly the type we need to support partey.

Andy

Completely agree with you. By November Lokonga will be Undroppable, just like Saka has been!

Santa’s Thigh Grab

Thank you. I don’t understand why people don’t think Sambi can start some games or play in a double pivot w Partey. He’s 21 and our other young guns are all 20 and 19. Sambi will get plenty of playing time.

Daveo

Even if it takes a few games to settle in we know we have a very good option in El neny, who actual pairs beautifully with Partey. If that is the direction, then Lokonga should take over the role maybe by Oct, Nov. I really hope we keep Mo around. He was excellent in every game he played with Partey. His limitations were just exposed when playing with Xhaka and Ceballos.

Luckylee

Exactly my thoughts,d little I saw of him vs millwall was very impressive,he passes through d middle n forward n I like d way they heap responsibilities on him when he came on….watch lokonga,he might be d key this season…

Merlin’s Panini

“the” and “and” really aren’t that difficult to spell, are they?

Toni

He’s writing in Pidgin English.

Goonerink

What I like about the deal is Ødegaards apparent faith in us qualifying for Europe in the next 5 years(assuming the contract will be a 5 year one)

Johan

I’m curious who people would prefer as an 8 (or a 6 as Partey can also play this role)? We’ve recently been linked with
Locatelli
Sanches
Neves
Zakaria
among others

Locatelli would be exciting, Sanches even more so (though it’s a step up from the Ligue 1). Neves less so for me, but PL proven. Zakaria’s YouTube compilation makes him look like Viera, but as that’s all I’ve seen of him I can’t judge him.

Daveo

Sambi Lokonga.

Johan

A young player going straight from the Belgian league straight into our starting 11? Even if so, do you feel confident going into the season with a central midfield of Sambi, Partey and Elneny (both away for the African Championships this winter), and one or two of Torreira, AMN, Willock? Regardless of our assessment of Sambi’s readiness, I can’t see us going into next season without another quality player in this position.

Daveo

Yup, sure do. More confident than I have for many seasons because we’re doing something different. Willock can definitely do a role too. If we sign another I hope it’s another young talent. You also forgot Azeez who I expect to play in the league cup and if he impresses then he’s another option.

Djouroureallylikeit

Yeah, we got Sambi, he looks ideally suited for PL and a great prospect.

But if pretty much any of Maitland Niles, Willock, Xhaka, Elneny, and Torerria could go. Let’s say two of those leave, we’re going to need another player first-team player.

Daveo

Keep Elneny, Willock, and maybe even Torreira (since no one is paying for him) or bring in another young talented mid in the 18-22 y.o. range. We also have Azeez who should be moving into the first team rotation (particularly in the cups). We don’t have Euro games so:
Partey-Lokonga
backed up by Elneny, Willock, Azeez and Torreira/New young CM is easily enough. If we bring in Nevez, (who will be expensive and profiles a lot like Xhaka) Lokonga won’t play. Azeez won’t see cup games. And Willock will be back out of the rotation.

Djouroureallylikeit

Yeah, I hear what you’re saying. But, Sambi is really taking Ceballos’s squad position and if Xhaka goes he needs to be replaced. The PL is a massive step up from Belgium so Sambi will need some time to adjust. I don’t think Torrieira has the physical profile to play in the Pl, he just gets overrun. Really quite a ludicrous signing tbh. Azeez looks like a massive talent but needs some time to develop and probably a loan spell. Elneny is an ok squad player but mid-table and Willock is a box-to-box, not a player who dictates the tempo… Read more »

Daveo

I think you’re being a little reductive saying Lokonga is direct Ceballos replacement. He profiles very differently to both Ceballos and Xhaka and that is good. We need to do things differently. I don’t buy into this “adjusting to the EPL” thing as much as everyone else does. There are many examples of players coming from Euro leagues and settling and making an impact immediately – and young players too. E.g. Fofana (Foxes), Neto (Wolves), Salah, Fernandes are a recent examples, Henry, Bergkamp, Gilberto Silva are Arsenal examples. If he is good enough, which we’ve deemed him to be then… Read more »

Djouroureallylikeit

No, not being reductive, so far Ceballos has gone and Sambi has come in, that’s replacing his squad position.

If Granit leaves then we will need to do the same for him. Plenty of opportunities for three starting players for games.

The other midfield options we have aren’t good enough.

Daveo

We have no European games. If we bow out early in the cups we might have 40 games in the whole season. At most probably 45 games. That’s a big difference from 50-55+ that we are used to. That is a lot less opportunity and injury risk should be lessened with far less mid-week action. Reducing this to a one-in-one-out thing is reductionist IMO.

Djouroureallylikeit

Haha. I’m not even comparing Ceballos and Sambi. It’s just we got rid of a player and we got one in the same position. But let’s be realistic. We need at least 3 top quality midfielders who can rotate and so far I only think we have one in Partey and even he has quite a lot to prove. If Xhaka leaves then it’s absolutely imperative we get someone on who can play a lot of games. Say Partey is injured and then goes to AFCON. Would you be happy playing say 15 pl games with Elneny and Sambi starting.… Read more »

Daveo

AFCON was always going to be tough, but you don’t sign players to cover for a 1 month football tournament every couple of years (and I think it’s being moved to the summer soon). Yes we signed White as CB, but if needs be must he can play CM as he’s already shown in the past. And Holding can adequately replace him at CB if White needs to move forward for a couple games. And once again yes, I have no problem with Lokonga getting a lot of games even if some of that is with Elneny or white or… Read more »

Djouroureallylikeit

Nah bud, never said anything about Neves or anyone really. Just think we still need to improve our midfield if we’re aiming for top four.

I hope Sambi is a massive success, but your going to be disappointed if you think his success will be overnight. The podcast on his profile alluded as much, saying he is very talented but a work in progress.

Arteta said as much himself too ‘we need to buy some senior players’

Santa’s Thigh Grab

lokonga plays more like Xhaka than Ceballos. Dani progressed the ball by carrying it, Xhaka progressed the ball through his passing range, same as Sambi. Just because Ceballos is gone doesn’t mean he’s a Ceballos replacement. Can’t sell Xhaka until we replace him, now that we have, he can move.

Djouroureallylikeit

I didn’t say they were similar players, i just said he replaced his position in the squad. Which so far he has, hasn’t he?

But actually one of Lakongas main strength is is progressive ball carrying.

Johan

Henry and Bergkamp came from the Italian league, Gilberto Silva from the Brazilian, Fofana from France, etc, all superior leagues compared the Belgian. Fofana wasn’t even necessarily bought to go into the first 11 either as Leicester already had a very good partnership in the middle of defense. The same goes for several of the other players on your list. Salah’s time at Chelsea was by most measures a big failure.

I think to assume Sambi will come in and boss it straight away is a huge gamble. That said, I admire your confidence in him, and hope you’re right.

YaGunnersYa

Agree that Sanches and Locatelli would be exciting.
Neves would be solid signing, but lacks ambition.
On Zakaria, I’m not convinced. He is behind Xhaka in the Swiss pecking order.

It’s a shame Torreira didn’t work out for us. I think there will be a signing in this area, but perhaps we are waiting on the Xhaka to Roma deal to be finalised.

DB’s first touch

Not neves? He just doesn’t seem like much of an upgrade on Xhaka, if at all.

Arsenio

Yeah, but also, whose YouTube compilation doesn’t make them look like a godly footballer?

Jim

Just not sure there is enough of a gap between him and smith-rowe in terms of output

A Different George

The relatively few times they played together, we looked great.

Djouroureallylikeit

We can have them both though

Hank Scorpio

I think it was a mistake to pass on Buendia but can see this happening. And that wouldn’t be a bad thing. I’d prefer this to Maddison.

Good Grief

Thank you I thought I was the only one. I don’t think Maddison is worth the money everyone’s talking about. I don’t think he’s shit or anything but with the financial difficulties most European clubs appear to be in it seems to me a buyers market, all though no European football is a bit of a bummer.

Billy bob

Totally agree that maddison isn’t worth £60+ million!!! He has had injury issues too so I would prefer Odegaard!! I think another player at no 8 would also be a sensible addition assuming xhaka is on his way to Roma

Hank Scorpio

If we bought Maddison then what is the likelihood Leicester would use the money to buy 2-3 good players?

loose_cannon

This simply shouldn’t concern us in anyway, let’s worry about sorting out our problems and let Leicester sort out theirs. People were saying similar when United bought Maguire, but which team has finished top 4 two seasons in a row since then, and which team has missed out?

Daveo

The point isn’t so much them signing 2-3 great players, it’s that we could potentially do the same with the money we would potentially spend on Maddison. Lokonga is a great example of this. Find our own talent, that is how we will bounce back and get out of this rut. Overpaying for “established” English talent or foreign big name signings has not gone well for us. Signing Maddison will not go well for us. We have to be smarter.

loose_cannon

We could sign another Lokonga, but just as likely we sign another Torrieira or Guendouzi, neither of which would look out of place at Leicester. That’s the thing with Leicester’s transfer strategy, it’s much more hit and miss than blogs and others on here make out. For every Maddison there’s a Dennis Praet. For every Barnes, there’s a Ahmed Musa or Ayoze Perez. That we only speak of the successes and not the failures is a clear example of surviorship bias, something I’ve mentioned in another article recently. And, as I’ve mentioned above, if Leicester’s strategy was so good, they’d… Read more »

Pea14

They will be laughing their guts out if we went for Maddison and they then went for Ødegaard with change to spare

Jules

I would prefer Odegaard for 30-40m over Maddison for 60-70m any day. Maddison is great (and goal scoring from midfield, we need that) but spending 60-70m on an injury prone player who’s wages we’d likely have to double seems like a worse decision than signing our number one target for a little over half the price. I think people forget, Mikel Arteta and the arsenal squad basically publicly said they want to keep Odegaard, and fair enough, they’ve trained and played with him for 6 months. Hope we get this done, Odegaard has a huge ceiling.

loose_cannon

I think Maddison wouldn’t cost as much as people are saying, especially if we included AMN or Nelson in the deal as is being reported. He’s a top player imo, goals, creativity and premier league proven. Stylisitcally the closest to Bruno Fernandes in the league. The drawbacks are his injury record and, to an extent, a lack of physicality, though he’s hardly unique in that for a 10.

Christopher Loum

Bringing back Martin Odegaard would be nice

UzesGooner

I think Buendia plays off the right though, and we are well stocked there with Saka and Pepe…..like Maddison but not for 60m

Hank Scorpio

Maybe but Pepe, Saka and ESR can play on the left and so can Odegaard. In any case, all 3 are good players both Buendia and Odegaard provide more flexibility in my view compared to Maddison. If this is genuine hopefully we can get this sorted quickly.

UzesGooner

Yeah, I was gutted about Buendia, his skills look insane….just trying to make myself feel better ! I’d be happy with Odegaard but I think we could negotiate hard and get him for circa 30m rather than what is being quoted

Daveo

He’s played a lot at RW, but he has also spent a lot of time at #10 too. It’s pretty normal for #10s to play games as technical wingers and technical wingers to play games as #10s in the modern game. This is what ESR did last season. Wenger also did this a lot with past Arsenal teams, playing a technical winger and a #10 (Ozil) in unison along with a more direct winger and a striker. It brings a good balance.

Philip Visser

Absolutely agree that Ødegaard is way better player than Madison, both technically and attitude. And Ødegaard formed a very good partnership with ESR who can learn a lot from playing with someone more experienced

Dan

I don’t think there is a great deal of evidence of that given Maddison has been playing regularly in a good Leicester team for 3 seasons and Odegaard has had loans and bench time. Maddison still managed 11 goals and 40 odd games last season. I’m not bashing Odegaard and would be very happy to have him just think saying he’s a way better player is overdoing it. Price is a big factor but let’s say they cost the same then I think Maddison edges it with his PL experience and performances. His injury is a concern but has still… Read more »

Daveo

100%, we absolutely snoozed and missed a trick on Buendia – it was exactly like James said (IMO). We weren’t expecting anyone to move on Buendia so early because Arteta is clearly focussed on Martin O, but that focus cost us the chance to sign Buendia (who in my opinion is as good or better than Marty). It seems we’re still focussed on Odegaard and playing a very risky game. If we don’t get him we’re going to be very thin in the creative section of the pitch. I guess if we don’t get him we might see a bit… Read more »

John

Would love to sign Martin Odegaard permanently. The current squad + Odegaard + a Xhaka replacement gives us a really good chance of top 4.

Toni

I would have thought that’s why we brought in Lokonga.

Prakhar

Lokonga can be our starting midfielder today if need be, that’s the hope. But someone like Neves would be more reliable and less risky for Arteta’s career and our season.

Daveo

Arsenal choosing the safe option way too often has become a bigger risk because in doing so we limit the team’s ceiling – we’re so risk adverse at the moment and it has become worse under Arteta. I hope we choose to start the season with Lokonga and Partey in midfield. The ultimate no-risk strategy here will be to keep Xhaka and I’m very worried this will actually happen. This would be a disaster.

John

Lokonga replaces Ceballos I think.

Trion

Partey, Auba, Pepe, Elneny (if he stays) will all miss at least 4 weeks (4-6 games) due to their participation in the AFCON in Jan – Feb 2022.

Lokonga for me is Partey’s replacement when he’s away on national duties and when he’s injured. We need another good signing to partner Partey/Lokonga should Xhaka leave.

We have many options up top in the CF/LWF/RWF role when Auba and Pepe leaves for national duties – Lacazette, Flo, Martinelli, Saka and errrm errmm errmm Willian

weeble

kind of assumes a 4-2-3-1 4-3-3 works better for us.

Tumang

get in!

utk v

Perhaps a loan with an obligation to buy so we have funds this window for a class #8. Wonder if Real will bite though

Hulahoops Baptista

Maybe someone can provide clarity on this, but don’t clubs generally ask for a bit more with an obligation and then “sell” (probably not the right term) the future incoming to a third party for cash for today?

Prakhar

He is rightly our no.1 target for attacking midfield. He will be worth upto 60M for us to spend on him. He will retain value as he is U23. Odegaard is a better player than Maddison, who is also not as good since his last injury. In a window where we are splashing the cash, this would be the sensible long term move.

Sheldon

I would prefer a loan. Sounds like he never made the cut at Real, and now he wants to come back. I never bought into his hype.

utk v

Hard to break into a team with Modric Kroos and Casemiro winning treble champions leagues.

A Different George

Modric won the ballon d’or playing in Odegaard’s position. He probably didn’t deserve it–was only the third or fourth best player in the world.

afl

I also never really understood what odergard has done in arsenal shirt to be that much liked by the readers of this site.

He has scored one cracker, had one very, very good performance, one decent and everything else (cca. 6-7 appearancies) was below paar even for the dramatically reduced expectations from artetas team.

AlexNuggz

Bring him home 🙂

Neil Bamford

Fingers crossed!

It’s always difficult when loan players go out from their clubs as it’s rare that you see a comprehensive string of performances during their time away. The fact that he showed some real signs of brilliance just prove that with being settled at a club he’ll really flourish.

I would prefer this deal to Maddison and Aaour. I just hope that there’s real legs in this possible deal

Tasmanian Jesus

Yes, please.
Get some norwegians in the midfield, him and Berge would be good.

Twatsloch

Haaland can come as well if he wants.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Alf-Inge on £150,000 a week.

Twatsloch

Not a washed up Chelsea reject so it’ll never happen.

James Bassey

I would rather we go for a more creative AM like Maddison or Aouar. Odegaard while a solid option doesnt offer that penetration, creativity and goal threat we desire.

Twatsloch

40 million for Ödegaard sounds very decent. I’d have expected him to be 60 million and upwards. Based on how he played last season I’d have him in a heartbeat!

Qwaliteee

He was ok, but I didn’t see him tearing up any trees.

Gunner Thesaurus

I for one, would be delighted to get him over Maddison or other attacking players we’re linked with. Not that I don’t like the others but he’s already been here and his passing statistics in the final third are insane. I’m sure he can develop into something close to what people half a decade or so ago used to think. Helps that he’s so well liked at the club and dovetails well with a good chunk of our squad.

UzesGooner

I would prefer Maddison or Aouar but if we could get him at a good price, or on loan with option to buy at a good price it would be good….he has obvious talent and has a great attitude. 40m is too high atm though.

Most important is when is the new set piece coach starting? We looked so vulnerable against Millwall….

ozymandias

I’d prefer Maddison due to the fact that we were a low scoring team last season and Maddison is usually good for 10 plus goals as well as 10 plus assists whist still only 24 years old. However, i’m also a fan of Odegaard as he’s Very secure on the ball, works hard and is technically and tactically adept. He fit in well during his loan here and at 22 has a decade at the top. Due to him having 2 years left on his RM contract coupled with the fact that he’s never broke through with them i think… Read more »

Giuseppe Hovno

this would be supoib

Ovia

Good deal.
Considering Ø can play multiple positions in midfield, this will help Arteta with his camouflage tactics.
We still need a xhaka replacement, mine being bissouma but overall I like the direction this window is going.

Goonerink

Bissouma would cost 40M+ and I doubt we will be giving Brighton 100m

Mootilated

I’m all for it, but I doubt it will happen. Not convinced that this rumour is anything but an attempt to get a false transfer saga brewing for Arsenal fans to speculate on.

Hope it evolves into more than that, mind you.

Magneto

I was under the impression that MO was always open to a return to Arsenal, but that, once Madrid apparently made it clear that they wanted him to stay and would give him plenty of game time next season, he released the “Thanks for everything, Arsenal” statement.

So I don’t think that there’s anything new in these stories. The issue was always the fact that he’s under contract at Madrid, and they would decide whether he stayed at the club or left to play football elsewhere (whether on loan or permanently). That remains the case.

A Different George

Sure, it remains the case–but the context may have changed. Odegaard wants to stay at Madrid if he has a reasonable chance for regular playing time. In the old days, Madrid could make that promise even if they thought he would languish on the bench. But they are broke now. They cannot afford to forego 40 million euros unless they actually expect him to play regularly. So the situation is much more fluid, much more dependent on who else they have and who else they can sell.

Vaibhav Pandey

Now with ESR secured, bringing in a replacement for Xhaka should be a priority (if Xhaka is leaving) otherwise bringing Odegaard on load with option to buy makes sense to me. I wouldn’t want to throw 30-40 mil and make him squad player at the best. We have good attacking depth at the moment, need solid CM/8.

Newmy

Fingers crossed for this one. Obviously Maddison is an exciting name to be linked with but looks difficult and MO is more of a passer which we need and complements ESR well

Christopher Loum

Just bring him immediately no time to wait.

loose_cannon

Might be in the minority here, but I’d take Maddison over Ødegaard even if he was more expensive. That’s not to knock Ødegaard, would be happy to have him back, looked very silky for us. But Maddison’s goal scoring potential makes it an obvious choice for me, stylistically the closest to Bruno Fernandes in the league. Only worries are his injury record, would need to be assessed carefully.

UzesGooner

Does he score a lot of his goals from free kicks though? If we had Neves at 8 he can do that….

loose_cannon

Maddison does score free kicks! I’m so-so on Neves, I think he might be too similar to Xhaka and would prefer a more dynamic 8, letting Partey/Sambi take care of holding and deep distribution.

UzesGooner

Yeah, I was underwhelmed when Neves was first linked at the start of the summer, mainly because of his size, but his interception stats are great and he does score goals. Think he’s more mobile than Xhaka and not so one footed….

loose_cannon

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think he’s a bad player and I wouldn’t complain if we got him. But I see moving Xhaka on as a chance to rethink how our midfield has worked for the last 5 years or so. So it would be a bit of shame if we replaced him with a like-for-like imo. Someone like, say, Renato Sanches would be more of a game changer. I also wouldn’t be opposed to giving Willock more of a chance as a box-to-box mid, either in a double pivot or as an 8 in a midfield 3.

UzesGooner

Hmmm…. yeah, I get the Sanches thing but he did this before….one good int tournament and then was shite….saying that, he is older, wiser and stronger this time and ahead of Neves in the national team. so yeah, id settle for him too! Not sure Willock fits into our 4-2-3-1 system……

loose_cannon

Tbf to Sanches he did just win Ligue 1 with Lille, he’s got lots of potential upside at his age, he has the profile we are looking at. And as you say, he’s ahead of Neves for Portugal, in fact he was their best performer at the Euros. With Willock, at 21 he’s still a bit of a blank slate. Could see him playing a bit like Soucek at West Ham if we stuck with the double pivot, next to a more defensive partner like Partey or Sambi. At the same time, we know/suspect Arteta would actually prefer to play… Read more »

UzesGooner

Sanches didn’t play for Lille much though mate, he was behind Soumaré, who was on our radar as a Partey alternative…..I know what you mean about Willock but he’s not a solid Bellingham B2B player, still not sure if he’d fit in. I don’t think we’ll go to 433 with the way our plans are progressing….it would make us more defensive which is the last thing we need !

Gus Caesar

Maddison has averaged 7 league goals a season for Leicester in an average of 33 league games a season. Based on this I would suggest that actually his injury history is less of a concern than the number of goals he scores. But he certainly scored more than Odegaard did for us!

loose_cannon

Given our own goal scoring issues, Arteta should be snatching their hands off for a 24 year old, 7 goal a season midfielder. 8 goals and 5 assists in 31 prem appearances last season puts our current crop to shame (Willock aside). Saying that, I wouldn’t be too upset if we got Ødegaard instead, but he needs to at least match those numbers.

Gus Caesar

Yeah but for c.£60m? I think there’s insufficient evidence for me that Maddison is worth that kind of outlay. Odegaard would be considerably cheaper, but i’m unconvinced by either to be honest!

loose_cannon

I’m not sure he would cost that much really, plus we could possibly include one of AMN, Nelson or Nketiah into the deal. I, err, don’t see Real Madrid taking one of them as a makeweight! I’d also point out that City are apparently being quoted £90-£100m for Grealish.

Gus Caesar

Yeah but Grealish is a considerably better player than Maddison, right now at least, and at the top of his game. Maddison’s ceiling is unclear but he’s hardly set the world alight. Maybe we will throw a few makeweights in and get him as you say, it’s not impossible (probably the only way we could afford him actually). But I just don’t think he’s even close to being in the £60m league and, if we’re given a choice of Maddison for a value of £60m or Odegaard for £40m, i’d take the latter. However, i’d rather not take either and… Read more »

Man Manny

Knows the league already
Knows the players.
Knows what the manager wants.
No brainer.

Gus Caesar

I won’t complain at all if we do get Odegaard, but a large part of me would much prefer that we spend as much money as we possibly can on a top class partner for Partey. I just think that, with no Europe to contend with, we would probably be just fine with Smith Rowe, Willock and Saka in the number 10 position. Whereas we desperately lack someone to replace and upgrade on Xhaka and I would hate to see us end up with a moderate quality player there because we’ve had to set aside money for Odegaard.

loose_cannon

Might be the case that we finally move to 4-3-3 this season, in which case a dedicated Partey partner/Xhaka replacement may be redundant, provided we were happy with Sambi and Elneny as understudies. Doing that would mean we need another player that could play as an attack-minded 8, rather than a deep lying playmaker.

Gus Caesar

Maybe we will, but who are those 3 in the middle? Partey isn’t a DM so, whatever the system, I still think we need at least one more top class centre mid with a more defensive leaning than Partey. And a move to 433 is risky, given that we’ve barely played it, so you’d also want to have the option of going with the 4-2-3-1 we’ve been playing – that requires somebody alongside Partey. For all the frustrations with Xhaka, he gave us structure and balance which we will definitely need to replace. In my view, the signing in centre… Read more »

loose_cannon

Partey was definitely a DM at Atletico, which is where he’s played his best football. While I suspect Arteta has tried to convert him into more of a box-to-box player, it’s definitely not his strength as we saw last season. Maybe that can be improved this season but I’d much rather have him holding and letting other better suited CMs take more attacking responsibility.

Gus Caesar

I don’t agree that Partey played his best football at DM, but he did play there for Atletico. Rodri was almost always the DM at Atletico until City bought him and those were times when Partey was at his best. Partey was often more of an all-round player when he played his best games, setting the tempo and starting attacks. In the 19-20 season Partey played DM much more, rotating with Herrera, Llorente and Niguez, but he wasn’t at his best by any means. I’m sure that Partey could play DM for Arsenal therefore, but I think it would be… Read more »

loose_cannon

I concede I may not have watched as much of him as you, but from what I’ve seen of him at Atletico and Arsenal, he’s a better 6 than 8. I’d go as far as to say that if we’ve really spent £50m on him to play as an 8, that money would have been spent better elsewhere. But who knows, I may be wrong on both counts and he tears it up for us next season as a box-to-box. Fingers crossed!

weeble

lokongo and partey have the 6 covered. we need to secure our 8’s, (4-3-3). Saka, ESR, and Willock are it although my brain is not remembering anyone else at the moment…

weeble

bingo!

Tommy Gunner

I honestly didn’t see enough output in his time here to get too fussed about whether this happens or not. Talented, yes. Output and cutting edge, could be a lot better.

Joefrommexico

I personally love the idea…
I don’t think it’s crazy to play midfield three, with partey on the base, ø inside right, esr inside left and have a front three of pepe, auba and saka on the right… using a similar system to barcelona where arteta/pep got their football ideas.
We dont need a similar partey player/number 8… defending nowadays is more done as a team, and systematically, not by individuals
Willock, elneny and amn/ azeez can provide backup for the midfield, while reisse-nelson, laca and Notwillian can do so for the front three.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

I’d love to be wrong but I suspect Madrid may only let him go out on loan for a year, and then next summer they’ll entice him with a bumper contract and the #10 shirt to replace the retiring Modric.

Would be a great piece of business if we can sign him permanently though.

Fantastic talent, can play in a couple of positions, a real team-player, perfect age bracket, seems really humble and down to Earth, appeared to love his time at Arsenal, and got on well with Arteta. Ticks all the right boxes.

Brian

I really hope this happens. Odegaard knows he can thrive at Arsenal. Arteta knows he can perform. He knows Odegaard’s personality and what he brings to the team. There is not a less risky move in the transfer window. Permanent deal. Get’er done!

Jon

“I’m not normally a praying man, but if you’re out there Superman, we could really use your help with this one.”

-Homer Simpson

Perry Groves Tips

There appear to be several options that the club are looking at including, according to this report anyway, our old boy, Odegaard. I’m not sure that he’s the best option now though. Maddison still seems to be the front runner but the reported fee for him looks high to me, particularly as we haven’t yet sold anyone so it’s all been “money out” at present. Anyway, other than Arteta and Edu who knows – it’s all speculation, isn’t it.

Zomodachi

Is 4 poos good?

Gooner Reg

It’s better than 5, but not as good as 3.
But if you’re talking about your personal daily movements, then I’d suggest more fibre!

Paul

You’re crazy 🤣🤣🤣

Disarmed Gunner

I want to go shopping at midnight sometimes but the mall is closed. Let someone else have him.

Prince

Mixed feelings on this story I am sure the young man would like to return to the Emirates. He is a talented player with good technique and will surely develop further. However on the debit side I thought aside from the outstanding display turning the match around against West Ham there were often too many safe sideways and backwards passes. Can he really unlock tightly packed defences? And does he offer a goal threat – powerful shot or real desire to get in positions and score goals? On last season’s outings probably not yet- again some of this can be… Read more »

Iyke

What happened to Bissouma with out update, please get him Odegaard with other available players with the club Arsenal club will be well free and balanced.

allezkev

If true, then £35m for Odegaard seems a lot more do’able than £60+m for Maddison.
We know what Martin can do and he integrated well into our group of players.
I like Maddison for sure, but Leicester will try to rinse us, so it’s Odegaard for me.

Gabigol

Defensively he contributed a lot to leading the press. Night and day compared to watching Ozil let play around him so easily.

He does it intelligently and seems to get more consensus with his wide teammates to assist his press.

Wonder how he will do offensively now we can push a higher line now we have the defensive recruit and 6/8 midfielder behind him to allow a greater share of the 90mins closer to the opposition penalty area.

Gabigol

Can feel Madrid are so desperate because they are actually hurting but waiting for their rivals to flinch first, who have already.

So Varane is gone, and now they showing how much they crying to reduce their wage bill.

There is no way anyone will touch Isco on a permanent deal, and they won’t want a 30yo to stay another year as he will be worthless.

So most saleable asset is Ode.

Expect them to request a huge loan fee and hope to get a big offer at the end of the season.

Lan

Ødegaard? Yes, please!

Mint

We’ve got the money so let’s just do it. He’s top draw and he fits right in. I think he could hit the ground running, now he’s been on loan here he’ll know exactly what to expect.

Joe

I think the first two choices are locatelli and odegaard and we need to be patient to get both or at least one

Scott P

If we got both, this window would be bonkers.

Tony 2

Am I missing something? Didn’t ESR’s form dip and wasn’t he dropped when Martin was integrated into the team?

Bobby

Finally, some good news after all that TA, AR nonsense. Can see MO evolving into a truly elite player over the next 3-5 years given the right environment and opportunities. Along with BS, GM, SR, that’s potentially a great attacking unit, and one I’ll happily tie my emotional happiness and mental stability to.

karl

Just don’t get sucked in at £50m, because Spain are in a desperate situation after being so financially reckless. There are plenty of options and we still have a huge squad to shift.

Perry Groves Tips

It may turn out that he is the best option (although I’m not so sure) but I think that we have to be a little cautious as he’s not the only one, as you say. I think that you’re also right about the players we hope to move out. So far, we haven’t sold anyone in this window as far as I recall despite all the speculation in the press. I’d like to see some players leaving – and money for them coming in – before too much more is spent (and that’s probably going to be around £50m on… Read more »

karl

Personally I would have liked to see the White money go on central midfield, even if Xhaka doesn’t get sold. Our defence was certainly nt the weakest are of the pitch. The only hope is that we are not done on transfers.

Rich

Odegaard is a brilliant player, signing him on a permanent deal would be massive

Would be our best signing since Alexis in 2014

Odegaard over Maddison for me

Lord Bendnter

The good thing is that he’s used to the Prem League now. So I don’t mind it going on until transfer deadline day if comes to that

ImarnuelAFC

Who’ll be our starting #10 then? Ødegaard of Smith Rowe