Martin Odegaard's Arsenal shirt number request can finally be granted if £50m transfer is sealed


Martin Odegaard has had two different shirt numbers at Arsenal. Upon arriving on loan for the second half of the 2020/21 campaign he wore number 11 before switching to number 8 after sealing a permanent transfer the following summer.

But is a third, and perhaps important change, on the horizon for the Gunners captain? Well, that might be the case if recent transfer rumours involving Emile Smith Rowe are to be believed as the iconic Arsenal number 10 shirt could be vacant by the time the 2024/25 season comes around.

Previously worn by the likes of Dennis Bergkamp, Robin van Persie, Jack Wilshere and strangely William Gallas, there had been a theory that Odegaard was to inherit it from Mesut Ozil as the Norway international joined the club three days after the German's time at the Emirates Stadium officially came to an end.

Interestingly, it was reported in Spain, at the time, that he had initially requested to wear No.10. Something that did make a lot of sense and an idea many supporters were on board with given the attacking midfielder was signed to seamlessly step into Ozil's place in the squad as the chief creator.

However, the aforementioned report claimed that it was explained to Odegaard that the Arsenal No.10 shirt had already been earmarked for Smith Rowe and that proved to be the case when it was announced the Hale End academy graduate had made the switch from number 32 upon signing a new contract in the summer of 2021.

This meant Odegaard chose number 8 after returning to North London that same summer and having been instructed by manager Mikel Arteta to "be careful with that number!", it's safe to say the midfielder has already met those demands with the captaincy a reward for consistent displays.

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Although should he wish to change and wear the same number on the back of his shirt for both club and country, that opportunity may arise in 2024 because at Arsenal the incumbent No.10 is Smith Rowe but as mentioned above he is being linked with an exit having found first-team opportunities few and far between so far.

As a popular member amongst the Gunners' fanbase, letting the academy product leave would not be greatly received. However, amid links to Newcastle United and a reported £50million valuation, have discussed why cashing in on the 23-year-old makes a lot of sense.

An unpopular decision it could prove to be - if it actually happens - but a Smith Rowe departure and subsequently vacating the Arsenal number 10 shirt may open the door for Odegaard to make the switch. After all, there probably isn't a player in the squad at present better equipped to carry on the lineage of Bergkamp, Robin van Persie, Jack Wilshere and Ozil.

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