Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has bolstered his attacking options with the loan capture of Real Madrid and Norway star Martin Odegaard.
The Gunners will be hoping the creative influence of the highly-rated 22-year-old can help the team overcome their inconsistent first half of the season and kick-on towards the European places in 2021.
Arteta’s men have gained momentum since the turn of the year and are back within touching distance of the Premier League’s top four.
They are still considered outsiders in the race for Champions League football with many new betting sites, including Betition’s price of 12/1, but Odegaarde’s arrival is capable of having an immediate impact.
The Norwegian joined Real Madrid from Stromsgodset back in 2015 but has since found opportunities hard to come by at the Bernabeu under current boss Zinedine Zidane.
However, the biggest clues to what the talented youngster can offer Arsenal come from his time out on loan in La Liga.
He had previously spent time with Dutch teams Heerenveen and Vitesse, but it was his most recent loan to Real Sociedad that underlined his still-untapped potential.
Speaking of his arrival at the Emirates Stadium, Arteta told the club’s website: “Martin is a player that we all know very well and although still young, he has been playing at the top level for a while.
“Martin will provide us with quality offensive options and we’re all excited to be integrating him into our plans between now and May.”
It’s that attacking prowess in the final third that could see the biggest change for the Gunners.
Creativity on show in Sociedad
Odegaard spent all of last season on loan in San Sebastian with Real Sociedad and quickly became a star performer.
His sublime spell in the Basque Country saw him sixth in the La Liga rankings for chances created, as well as the top 10 for most successful dribbles.
The left-footer also netted seven times to help Sociedad to a sixth-placed league finish and the final of the Copa del Rey.
He will likely fill the number 10 role for Arsenal that once belonged to Mesut Ozil, who has just completed a move of his own to Turkish side Fenerbahce.
Odegaard will compete with youngster Emile Smith Rowe to be the main creative force from central areas. He will look to find space between the lines where he can run at the heart of opposition defences or link up with a central striker.
While the number 10 role suits his close control and ability to turn sharply, he can also play a little deeper in midfield if required. He also previously came in-field from the right flank to good effect during his time in Vitesse, when only Dusan Tadic and Hakim Ziyech claimed more assists.
It might be a stretch to believe 22-year-old Odegaard can push Arsenal to be top four challengers so quickly, but he’ll certainly add some much-needed guile in and around the penalty box between now and the end of the season.
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