Martin Odegaard has explained that ‘stability’ is the reason he is happy to be back at Arsenal, having previously struggled to get that at former club Real Madrid.
Odegaard joined Real as a 16-year-old in 2015 after setting Norwegian football alight, but he only made 11 first-team appearances and spent a lot of time away on loan at Heerenveen, Vitesse Arnhem, Real Sociedad and, most recently, Arsenal.
Odegaard, now 22, had hoped to establish himself with Los Blancos at the start of last season after proving himself in La Liga with Real Sociedad, but he only played nine times before leaving in January. He did head back to Spain again after finishing his Arsenal loan, only to find once more that he still wouldn’t get the regular playing time he craves.
Instead, the Gunners agreed a deal worth an initial £30m to sign him permanently and the Norway international couldn’t be happier with how things have worked.
“I am so happy to be back in Arsenal. I loved it here from the first day I came in January,” Odegaard explained at a press conference while on international duty.
“I wanted stability. I wanted to settle down somewhere with a lot of good players who want to establish the club back in the top, with a good manager.
“That’s why I think Arsenal is pretty perfect for me.”
Odegaard made his second Arsenal debut in last week’s EFL Cup thrashing of West Brom, playing an hour and registering an assist. He was then also a starter in the 5-0 defeat to Manchester City in the Premier League a few days later and will need a little more time to build up his match sharpness.
He played the full 90 minutes for Norway on Wednesday night as they drew 1-1 against Netherlands in a World Cup qualifier in Oslo, with further games against Latvia and Gibraltar in the coming days.