It has been all but confirmed that Real Madrid will be loaning out one of their most exciting young talents. Martin Odegaard has really struggled for game time under Zidane and has made a request to get some first team action somewhere. Among other teams, Arsenal have been heavily linked with a move for the Norweigan playmaker to take him on loan until the end of the season to help resolve our lack of creativity that we were showing earlier in the season.
In my opinion, taking him on loan would be a brilliant move. Arsenal are likely to be fighting on 3 fronts this season; the league is always important, Arsenal have an undeniable romance with the FA Cup and Arteta will also be looking to win the Europa League to get Arsenal back in Europe’s top competition next year. For that, he is going to need some serious depth in various positions.
I would say we currently possess that kind of depth in most areas. However, in terms of creative midfielders we are still seriously lacking. Smith Rowe’s form recently has been outrageously good for his age and he is really transforming our side. However, there is no other position in our team where we rely quite so heavily on just one player. The same can be said for any of the top sides in the league really. Giving someone who we can rotate with Smith Rowe for the run in will be key; if Smith Rowe burns out or gets a knock, we will revert back to the horrendous displays we were seeing earlier in the season.
You might be thinking, if Odegaard would be such a good loan signing, why would he not be a brilliant signing to make permanent as well? Well, firstly I want to clarify that if Arsenal had all the money in the world, then of course I wouldn’t mind them signing him perfectly. But we have to remember that this simply isn’t the case. His value is £36 million but would likely command a fee of close to £50 million. For this kind of money, we can sign someone like Sabitzer.
Sabitzer for example, is in his prime. He will start for the next few seasons and provide Smith Rowe with an excellent example to follow. He can also play out wide or in a 4-3-3 and would likely provide a more instant impact than Odegaard. All I’m saying is, Odegaard and ESR are only a couple of years apart, meaning they will be competing for the same spot for the next 10 years. This means we either never see ESR reach his full potential, or we never see the best out of Odegaard. That money should either be spent on someone ready to make an impact now, or some quality squad players who specialise in a deeper role but can play in that number 10 if needed; such as Aouar or Buendia.
That being said, I am very hopeful Arsenal can sign him on loan; hopefully this will mean funds are still available for a deep-lying playmaker AND we get some added squad depth to help fire us back into the Champions League next season.
Photo Credit: Ehaddeland