Arsenal have signed Real Madrid youngster Martin Odegaard on loan until the end of the season, the two clubs announced on Wednesday.
The 22-year-old midfielder has made only three La Liga starts for Real and was also linked with a move towards Spanish rivals Real Sociedad, where he played last season on loan, helping the club to finish sixth and qualify for the Europa League.
“It’s great that we’ve secured Martin to come to us until the end of the season,” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said in a statement.
“Although still young, he has been playing at the top level for a while. Martin will provide us with quality offensive options and we’re all excited to be integrating him into our plans between now and May.”
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Odegaard, who made his Norway debut at the age of 15, joined the Los Blancos as a 16-year-old in 2015, but struggled to be noticed to play for the first team, spending loan spells at Dutch sides Heerenveen and Vitesse Arnhem.
Arteta this month said that Arsenal would be looking for new recruits after moving on fringe players including playmaker Mesut Ozil, who has made a permanent switch to Turkish side Fenerbahce after being left out of Arsenal’s Premier League and Europa League squads for this season.
The Gunners manager has relied on Emile Smith Rowe to take up the number 10 role in Ozil’s absence and Odegaard will provide squad depth as Arsenal look to move up the standings in the second half of the season.
Arsenal currently at eighth in the Premier League table with 30 points from 20 games.