Real Madrid: Could Martin Odegaard emulate the Arsenal star he idolized?

Real Madrid, Martin Odegaard (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Martin Odegaard (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid have loaned Martin Odegaard to Arsenal for the rest of the season, and this loan is even bigger than the highly successful loan to Real Sociedad last season.

In San Sebastian, Odegaard became one of La Liga’s premier playmakers, and while Los Merengues failed to build on that success in 2020-2021 due to mismanagement, Odegaard can still make strides this season in North London.

The Gunners already have a Real Madrid loanee in midfield, as Dani Ceballos is in his second season with the Premier League side.

However, Ceballos has taken a clear step backward in 2020-2021, and he isn’t the creative force Arsenal need. Odegaard is.

Via MARCA, the Norwegian attacking midfielder said that he idolized Cesc Fabregas growing up:

"“There were a lot [of Arsenal players I admired]. But I think [Cesc] Fabregas, for me, was one of my idols when I grew up. So especially him.“The way he controls the game, the way he dictated the game, his ability to give assists and also score goals. Everything about his game. I tried to learn as much as possible when I grew up watching him. He was the top player.”"

Martin Odegaard isn’t Cesc Fabregas, but the Real Madrid youngster can help Arsenal immensely in his own right

He was absolutely “the top player” and certainly a midfielder many young football fans idolized.

Before heading back to Barcelona, Fabregas was the centerpiece player for Arsenal under Arsene Wenger, and the entire team basically ran through him. He was one of the best players in Europe during his first stint in the Premier League, dazzling football fans with his playmaking.

Fabregas had four seasons with double-digit assists in England’s top flight, and he had a jaw-dropping 15 goals and 13 assists in the 2009-2010 season as a sixth-year starter. He was 22 that season!

You know who else is also 22? Martin Odegaard. And you know who else is known for elite dribbling skills, playmaking, and chance-creation?

Comparing the two is risky business, since Fabregas was riding high on confidence, coached by an absolute legend, and bossing it after years of success. Odegaard is also a highly-talented prodigy of an attacking midfielder, but it is important for Arsenal to temper their expectations. We cannot build up young players to see them crash down.

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But the upside is there. Odegaard could be a game-changer for Arsenal’s attack, which does feature a handful of competent forwards. He can be the man who turns around the entire season for Arteta. Odegaard cannot do it alone, of course, and he isn’t Fabregas, per se. But he is a great young player in his own right and can run the show, too.