Spanish footbal expert, Guillem Balague, has revealed the reason why Martin Odegaard is set to sign for Arsenal ahead of Real Sociedad.
Talks over Odegaard have gathered pace all day, with various sources now claiming Arsenal are moments away from wrapping up a deal for the young Real Madrid midfielder.
It was believed initially that a return to Sociedad was the most likely outcome for Odegaard. But Balague, speaking for the BBC, explained how La Liga table politics played a key role in Madrid’s change of stance.
“Real Madrid see Real Sociedad as a rival and they don’t want to help them. They are sixth in the table, three points off the top four. If they think they are fighting for the same thing, which is Champions League qualification, then it doesn’t make sense to strengthen a rival,” Balague said.
“The player preferred to go there (Sociedad) because there would be no need for adaptation and he just wants to play. But Real prefer Arsenal because of the style and because they believe he will play there regularly as well.”
Odegaard enjoyed a stellar season with the Spanish side last season but has struggled for minutes since his return to Madrid. He’ll be hoping for a big impact at Arsenal, who have been desperate to add a new creative midfielder all January.
TBR View: Petty behaviour from Madrid helps Arsenal here
Politics in football at its finest here. Madrid don’t want to help a rival and rightly so, so they send their player to another league entirely.
Of course, this is to the gain of Arsenal and they’ll be delighted to capture Odegaard. He should slot in nicely, too, given his playing style and how comfortable he is with the ball.
The Gunners can be pleased with this one, no matter how they got it over the line.