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Martin Odegaard in line to make Arsenal debut against Southampton

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.

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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 in line to make Arsenal debut against Southampton

Martin Odegaard in line to make Arsenal debut against Southampton

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.

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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.

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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.

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

Martin Odegaard in line to make Arsenal debut against Southampton

Martin Odegaard in line to make Arsenal debut against Southampton

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

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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