Arsenal have confirmed the arrival of Real Madrid starlet Martin Odegaard on a loan deal running until the end of the season.
The 22-year-old selected the Emirates following a personal chat with manager Mikel Arteta, and turned down offers from rival clubs across Europe as a result.
Odegaard arrives after falling down the pecking order under Zinedine Zidane in the Spanish capital and seeing his game-time severely restricted, despite an impressive spell on loan with Real Sociedad last season.
The Norway international has taken the No 11 shirt at the Emirates, and admitted former Arsenal icon Cesc Fabregas was his idol when growing up.
After penning his Arsenal deal, Odegaard revealed: “There were a lot of Arsenal players I admired. But I think Cesc Fabregas, for me, was one of my idols when I grew up. So especially him.”
With Sociedad Odegaard became one of the most creative players in La Liga and played a significant role in the team qualifying for European competition.
Sociedad were among the sides who were keen to take Odegaard on a fresh loan deal, along with Dutch champions Ajax.
Reports in Spain however claim Real were much more in favour of Arsenal’s offer, in order for their talented star to cut his teeth in the Premier League.
Following the confirmation of the move, Arteta told Arsenal’s official website: “It’s great that we’ve secured Martin to come to us until the end of the season. Martin is of course a player that we all know very well and although still young, he has been playing at the top level for a while.
“Martin will provide us with quality offensive options and we’re all excited to be integrating him into our plans between now and May.”
Gunners technical director Edu added: “I would like to thank everyone at Real Madrid and Martin’s representatives for their collaboration in making this loan move happen.
“Martin is an exceptional talent and we are strengthening our squad by introducing an exciting offensive player to the club for the remaining months of this season.”
Odegaard joined Madrid from Stromgodset in January 2015, after being one of the most fiercely tracked teenagers in world football.