Arsenal completed signing of the decade for £34m as Mikel Arteta handed world-class commitment

[ WATCH TV LIVE ]

I still remember the moment that Martin Odegaard signed for Real Madrid. A Norway international at the age of 15 and signing for more than £2million as a 16-year-old in 2016 was a massive story, despite how naïve we would be of the prices for similarly aged players that were mere years away.

Arsenal were one of the teams interested in the then Stromsgodset starlet but when Los Blancos came calling, it is understandable he decided to move to Madrid. However, the Gunners never waned in their gaze toward the improving attacking midfielder and when the time arrived that he would leave the Spanish capital, Mikel Arteta had already shown what he could get by coming to north London with that loan spell in 2021.

Arsenal have built such a brilliant squad over the past three to four years with the partnership of Arteta with now sporting director Edu turning the side from a team in Premier League purgatory into title challengers with expectations growing all the time. Bringing in young players with great potential was always part of that.

READ MORE: Martin Odegaard signs new long-term Arsenal contract amid 'special' admission

It started with the likes of William Saliba and Gabriel Martinelli before Edu really had his legs under the desk, and certainly before Arteta was even the head coach, although he’d come pretty close to it prior to Unai Emery’s appointment. Odegaard followed in the footsteps of deals by the Spaniard for Gabriel Magalhaes, Ben White, Nuno Tavares and Albert Sambi Lokonga.

Some have worked and some haven’t. Certainly the continuation from the deal for Odegaard that has seen Aaron Ramsdale, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Gabriel Jesus and more to the side since has witnessed a massive list of hits compared to misses.

Yet for me the deal for Odegaard is not just the best signing of all Mikel Arteta’s moves, but the best for the past decade. Let’s discuss the number to begin with, £30million with around £4million in add-ons.

READ MORE: Arsenal news and transfers LIVE - Deal confirmed, huge injury update, Aaron Ramsdale message

This is a joke of a transfer fee. In today’s football, even back then in 2021, the prices players were, and even more so now, are going for have reached ludicrous levels. Arsenal themselves have involved themselves in this with deals for Kai Havertz and Declan Rice this summer.

Believe it or not, Arsenal made nine deals prior to this with a higher value. Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Granit Xhaka, Shkodran Mustafi, Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, Thomas Partey and the aforementioned White preceded the now skipper,

Amongst the nine, four have worn the club’s armband too. However, without question, and despite much initial questioning at the decision, Odegaard is proving to be the perfect leader and representative of the club.

From my own experiences of both watching and speaking to Odegaard, he just embodies the class and spirit of Arsenal. He whips up the crowd, leading by example, demanding more from his teammates, protecting the club’s values and of course enjoying a goal in a North London Derby.

For me, and I know not for everyone yet, Odegaard has reached a world-class level. He would play for any of the best clubs on Earth, including his former side Real Madrid who must be sick with regret and Pep Guardiola’s treble-winning side.

Throw Odegaard into that Manchester City team and he gives Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva a run for their money I have no doubt. Thankfully, unlike a decade-plus ago, now Arsenal need not fear losing their best players and captains as this contract to 2028 solidifies that red-and-white identity even further.

The exciting, and scary part for opposition, is that this remains an Odegaard before his prime. This is a player with more still to give, more still to learn and more still to win.

Click for Sound
Video Loading
Arsenal Fans Sing New Martin Odegaard Chant After Everton Win

Arsenal are in the best place they’ve been for a generation now, and our Norwegian superstar is at the core of the project and process. Arsenal fans might be singing a rendition of “Chase the Sun” but all they’ll be doing with this news is chasing titles for the foreseeable future as captain fantastic Martin Odegaard aims to lift an increasing amount of silverware.

Adblock test (Why?)