Martin Odegaard may not have been Arsenal’s first choice as transfer plan revealed
Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard might just have been Arsenal’s second choice.
The Gunners completed the loan signing of Odegaard in the final days of the January transfer window, bringing in the Norwegian midfielder on a deal to the end of the season.
Odegaard requested a loan move from Real Madrid and became available late in the window having seen limited game time at the Santiago Bernabeu this season after an impressive loan spell at Real Sociedad last term.
In the end, Arsenal were able to get the deal done, and the 22-year-old has since made two Premier League appearances, both from the bench.
But was Odegaard the Gunners’ first choice?
According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Arsenal actually tried to sign a Barcelona midfielder before landing Odegaard, and Sport say their interest lasted until just days before the Odegaard deal was done.
Romano claims Arsenal expressed an interest in young talent Riqui Puig.
He said on the Here We Go Podcast : “Let’s go back to the Premier League and let’s reveal the behind the scenes of the past transfer window between two clubs, one is Barcelona and one is Arsenal.
“At the start of the window Arsenal were seriously trying to sign Riqui Puig on loan with a buy option, in a similar deal as Odegaard, also with Riqui Puig at Barcelona.
“Barcelona said let’s see with Koeman, if he wants to keep the player, if he wants to play, let’s wait some weeks. Then in the middle of January they said no, Riqui Puig is not moving, we are keeping him.”
Still only 21 years of age, Puig has made 14 first-team appearances across all competitions for Barcelona this season, scoring once.
The midfielder is a real talent, but Arsenal did wind up getting a more experienced player in Odegaard, though, time will tell whether the Gunners got the right man as the Norwegian looks to break his way into Mikel Arteta’s starting XI.