Ian Wright has urged Arsenal to sign Martin Odegaard on a permanent deal this summer. The Norway international has made an immediate impact since joining the Gunners on loan from Real Madrid in the January transfer window.
However, Arsenal do not have a purchase option in their agreement with Madrid and the midfielder still has two years remaining on his current contract with the Spanish champions. And Wright believes Arsenal ‘need’ to secure a deal for the 22-year-old once the season ends.
‘Watching Odegaard play for Arsenal, I’m so happy and I’m so sad,’ Wright said on Ringer FC’s Wrighty’s House podcast. ‘Simply because when you look at Odegaard’s contribution, and I was thinking with this West Ham game, it’s going to be different, he’s got [Thomas] Soucek and [Declan] Rice.
‘He’s going to be playing in that area where he has got some real ballers with him, and I said before the game, I want to see how he does, and not only does he excel, we go 3-nil down, and the man is literally just showing up.
‘On the half-turn, his quick thinking, his passes, as soon as he gets it, he already knows what he’s doing. ‘We have to find a way to sign him.
I don’t know how it’s going to happen. He’s the one. ‘For him to come to the Premier League, we’re talking about a guy who looks very slight but he doesn’t get himself in that traffic and trouble.
‘He did a move the other day where he got the ball on his left foot and he’s coming back towards his own goal, then he turned sharply on his left foot and went back around West Ham’s box and passed it to the right. ‘You’re thinking that’s the quality and composure Arsenal need.
Arteta must be on the sideline thinking, ‘oh my god, this is what I need, this is the guy’.
‘His contract runs out in 2023 with Madrid, we’re going through a spell where there’s not a lot of money about, Madrid need money, if Zidane stays there can you see him putting Odegaard in his team? ‘You’re thinking to yourself if he carries on playing like he is, because we’re looking at Modric and Kroos and they’re going to have to get replaced by someone at some stage now. ‘Whether that’s Odegaard or they might sell Odegaard to finance getting somebody else.
When you look at him, this is serious business with Odegaard, this is a player we need, and I don’t know how they’re going to do that. ‘For me, I think £45 million to £50 million, even though we’re talking about someone who’s been on loan to Holland, Spain and now here, he’s played a handful of games but he looks so impressive.
‘You have to pray, the Arsenal fanbase have to put it out into the ether, the energy and the good vibes, to make it happen because he is needed.’