Martin Odegaard in line to make Arsenal debut against Southampton

Real Madrid's Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard reacts during the Spanish league football match Real Betis against Real Madrid CF at the Benito Villamarin stadium in Seville on September 26, 2020.
Odegaard could face Southampton (Picture: AFP via Getty)

Martin Odegaard could be in line to make his debut against Southampton on Tuesday after striking a deal to join Arsenal on loan.

The Real Madrid midfielder, 22, is set to become Arsenal’s second signing of the January transfer window after Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan signed on loan earlier this week.

According to The Athletic, Odegaard is scheduled to arrive in London on Sunday and will undergo a medical on Monday.

Should the deal be wrapped up by midday, he will be eligible to face Southampton on Tuesday night.

He won’t have to isolate upon his arrival to the UK, as long as he returns a negative Covid-19 test, because of an elite sportsperson exemption.

Odegaard became one of the best-known teenagers in world football when he arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu as a 16-year-old but has struggled to establish himself as a regular in Madrid.

 Martin Odegaard of Real Madrid reacts during the La Liga Santander match between Real Madrid and Deportivo Alaves at estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on November 28, 2020 in Madrid, Spain. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in fixtures being played behind closed doors.
Odegaard is set to arrive on loan (Picture: Getty)

It looked as if this could be the season he made the breakthrough into Zinedine Zidane’s side after starting the first two La Liga matches of the campaign but he has only started one league game since November 21.

Zidane now thinks he will benefit from more game time and agreed to let him leave on loan.

Odegaard impressed on loan at Real Sociedad last season and the Spanish outfit were linked to bring him back for a second stint but he has decided to join Arsenal.

The Gunners were keen to secure the signing of an attacking midfielder after letting Mesut Ozil leave on a free transfer this month.

He is their second loanee from Real Madrid in the current squad, with Dani Ceballos also part of Mikel Arteta’s side.

Odegaard was one of several attacking midfielders considered by Arteta this month, with Julian Brandt, Dominik Szoboszlai and Emil Buendia all looked at.

But the 22-year-old will instead arrive in north London in an exciting deal for Arsenal fans.

Norway boss Stale Solbakken thinks he will be a good fit at the Emirates.

Mikel Arteta of Arsenal during Southampton v Arsenal, The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round, on January 23, 2021 in Southampton, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors.
Arteta is set to land a second signing (Picture: Getty)

He told Norwegian outlet VG: ‘First of all if it happens, I think it shows Martin has an extremely high level of confidence in himself, considering he is going into a new league and a team that, although they have improved a lot lately, had some good wins and climbed the table.

‘The way Arsenal play will fit him well, a kind of football that suits him. He can also play in different midfield roles, whichever Mikel Arteta chooses.

‘He will get assists and be a good team player.’

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