Real Madrid Transfers: Martin Odegaard reportedly wants to stay with Arsenal

Arsenal, Martin Odegaard (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
Arsenal, Martin Odegaard (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images) /

File this under news Real Madrid fans won’t want to hear, let alone believe.

Martin Odegaard spent the 2019-2020 season on loan at Real Sociedad and, before a knee injury, established himself as one of the best players in the league. Unable to afford any transfers with a critical 2021 window on the horizon and dreams of Kylian Mbappe, Los Blancos recalled Odegaard from La Real instead of following through with a second season on loan in San Sebastian.

Instead of blossoming with Real Madrid, Odegaard barely played. Frustrated with the lack of minutes, Odegaard pushed for a loan in the winter and ended up at Arsenal, where he has been playing at an elite level again recently as a centerpiece player in Mikel Arteta’s plans.

And now, according to a report from’s Kaya Kaynak, Martin Odegaard has informed “those close to him” that he wants to stay with Arsenal for more than just the 2020-2021 season.

Real Madrid should be able to keep Martin Odegaard, but the player’s wishes may cause fans to pause

Odegaard is said to be “impressed” with Arteta’s vision for Arsenal’s future and likes how the club has welcomed him. But Kaynak is careful to report that Odegaard would not force a transfer away from Real Madrid this summer.

It’s an interesting situation. Odegaard is clearly having a great time in Arsenal, but you also get the feeling that he wants to be a great player in Madrid. It seems that he has not given up on the dream of Madrid, though his relationship with Zinedine Zidane is unclear. We simply do not know if Zidane has issues with him, or if this is an exaggeration and things just did not work out at first.

However, it does seem like Odegaard is a big fan of Arteta, and Arteta would surely love to have Odegaard permanently. After all, Odegaard is, right now, Arsenal’s best player, and it really isn’t close. He brings a quality in his creation, vision, and technique that simply isn’t present from anyone else in this chronically underperforming squad.

Real Madrid selling Odegaard, though? That seems just about inconceivable, since he is one of the most valuable young players in Europe. Los Blancos identified Odegaard’s talent early and have watched him thrive in various loan situations. They dropped the ball on his return to Madrid this season, but that doesn’t mean Odegaard – let alone the club itself – are ready to give up on a very fruitful future.

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Another year on loan in North London? That may be Arteta’s main hope. But this latest report is a reminder that while Madridistas are confident in Odegaard’s return, we simply cannot walk into the summer thinking that anything is guaranteed. We cannot display that arrogance regarding a situation that may not be as certain as we’d like to think.