Martin Ødegaard Extends: Where He BelØngs
With the North London Derby in the horizon, Arsenal come into the match in great form, along with their rivals, Tottenham, and one man the Gunners can count on to put up a performance is club captain, Martin Ødegaard. Ødegaard’s journey with Arsenal has been one that has been beneficial to the player and the club, as he arrived at a time the club was still in the trenches, recovering from the damage Raul Sanllehi and Unai Emery had done, and even though he struggled with injuries and didn’t light up many fireworks in his initial loan spell from Real Madrid, the talent was undoubtedly there, and the potential was massive.
Mikel Arteta proved to be a dominating factor in Arsenal dishing out the greens for the Norwegian, and him agreeing to make the deal permanent, as he confirmed in a recent interview,
Ødegaard revealed how persuasive Mikel Arteta was in his bid to join the Gunners,
“I spoke to Mikel Arteta on a Zoom call and he told me all about the project. At the time, Arsenal were not doing well. They were way down like 15th in the table, but that meeting … Honestly, I challenge anyone to come away from a meeting with Arteta and not believe everything he tells you.
“He is next level. It’s hard to explain. He’s passionate, he’s intense and sometimes, yeah, he’s a bit crazy … but when he speaks, you understand that whatever he says will happen, will happen.
“He told me his plan, everything he was building towards. He knew exactly what needed to change at the club. He told me all about these amazing young players in the squad — Saka, Martinelli, Smith Rowe, etc., etc. He told me how he wanted me to fit in and how I was going to improve.
“I got this strong feeling that he was onto something really special.”
Ødegaard joined Arsenal on a permanent basis, became club captain, and has emerged to talismanic status in the club. Last season, he amassed 15 non-penalty goals which was a testament of his fledgling abilities and contributions to the club and he has grown from strength to strength in Arsenal colors. His amazing performances last season also earned him a place in the PFA Team of the Season.
That young kid from Real Madrid that managed to gain some experience on loan at Real Sociedad had finally settled in North London and made it his home – a place where he belongs.
Arsenal has confirmed that Ødegaard has signed a contract extension with the club, which will make him the highest earner at the club, which is well deserved if you ask me. The captain had some good words to say following his decision to put pen to paper,
“Signing a new contract was a really easy decision for me for lots of reasons. Mainly what we are doing right now as a club is special, and I want to be a part of that. I’m really excited for what’s to come here. I’ve found a place where I can be really settled and call my home.
“My story is a bit different maybe, as I moved around different clubs since I was 16. At Arsenal, since the first day, I’ve felt great and this is definitely my home now. I just want to say thanks to everyone working at the club and of course, our fantastic supporters. I will continue to give everything to bring success to this club in the years to come.”
As expected, there were some warm words from Edu and his gaffer as well,
“Martin signing a new long-term contract is such good news for everyone connected with Arsenal. He is our captain and a hugely respected person at our club, who is a great role model and professional, bringing quality and maturity in everything he does. On the pitch, as everyone has seen, Martin is a young player of top quality who consistently contributes at a such a high level.
“As a manager, working with Martin the person and the player is an absolute joy, and it’s great that after experiencing a number of clubs already in his career, he is now settled and really feels at home at Arsenal. We all look forward to continuing our journey with Martin in the years to come.”
I am very elated that the club has done well to keep the captain, and he joins the League of Extraordinary Contract Signers that has the likes of William Saliba, Bukayo Saka, Aaron Ramsdale, Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel in its ranks.
The project at Arsenal is hugely exciting and I am delighted that Ødegaard, a vital piece in that puzzle, is going to stay with us for many years to come.
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