Arsenal sign Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid

Martin Odegaard ArsenalGetty

Arsenal have signed Norway international Martin Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid.

The 22-year-old playmaker joins until the end of the current season, providing the Gunners with some much-needed creativity following the departure of Mesut Ozil.

Odegaard had requested to leave the Santiago Bernabeu in January due to a lack of first-team minutes so far this season. He has played only seven times in La Liga and is yet to complete 90 minutes for Madrid since returning from last season's loan spell at Real Sociedad.

Sociedad had been linked with a move to take Odegaard back this month but a return became unlikely once Arsenal entered the race to sign him.

What Odegaard has said about joining Arsenal

Odegaard revealed the role Arteta played in his decision, telling the club's official website: "I spoke to him before coming here, of course. That was very important for me and he seems like a top manager and I liked his ideas, the way he sees football and also the way he is. 

"He gave me a great feeling and that was important for me to come here. He was crucial.

"I think every time you go to a new place, you want to make sure that it feels good and that there is a plan. But I think everything here just seems good. 

"I like the club and I always liked the way that the club wants to play. Everything about the club and now how the manager wants to play, I think it's a club that really suits me well. So I think it's a good match."

What shirt number will Odegaard wear?

Odegaard has been handed the No.11 shirt by the Gunners, having worn the No.21 shirt at Madrid this season.

The No.11 shirt has been worn by some famous names at Arsenal during the Premier League era, including the likes of Marc Overmars, Robin van Persie, and Ozil, who sported that number before swapping to the No.10.

When will Odegaard make his Arsenal debut?

Odegaard could be in contention to make his debut in Saturday's high-profile Premier League game against Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium.

Arteta will have to decide whether to throw Odegaard straight into his starting line-up for that fixture or start him on the substitutes' bench, depending upon his fitness level.

Following that match, the Gunners will take in a trip to Molineux to face Wolves on Tuesday, February 2.

Odegaard is also eligible to be included in Arsenal's Europa League squad, with a last-32 tie with Benfica on the horizon in February.

Why does the Odegaard signing matter?

Mikel Arteta has been keen to bring in support and competition for Emile Smith Rowe, who has impressed since breaking into the first team.

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Though Arsenal are out of the FA Cup after their 1-0 defeat to Southampton, the Europa League returns next month so the Gunners will need to rotate their squad.

With Nicolas Pepe and Willian failing to deliver on a consistent basis this season, Odegaard's arrival will add an extra spark to Arsenal's attack, while he is also versatile enough to play in several positions.

How do you pronounce Odegaard's name?

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