Martin Odegaard has said his first words in an Arsenal shirt after it was confirmed that he will be joining from Real Madrid for the remainder of the season on loan.
The Norwegian international is expected to help solve the Gunners creative issues this season, supporting Emile Smith Rowe.
The deal is understood to not have an obligation to buy clause at the end of the six month period for the 22-year-old who will wear the number 11 shirt.
Odegaard’s move was inspired by a desire to secure more game time, but the midfielder admitted that Mikel Arteta was also a key factor that swayed his decision.
“I spoke to him (Arteta) before coming here, of course,” Odegaard told Arsenal.com. “That was very important for me and he seems like a top manager and I liked his ideas, the way he sees football and also the way he is.
“He gave me a great feeling and that was important for me to come here. He was crucial.
“I think every time you go to a new place, you want to make sure that it feels good and that there is a plan. But I think everything here just seems good.
“I like the club and I always liked the way that the club wants to play. Everything about the club and now how the manager wants to play, I think it’s a club that really suits me well. So I think it’s a good match.”
As well as Arteta though there was also another key personal at Arsenal who helped convince Odegaard to join.
The Norwegian revealed that his Real Madrid teammate Dani ceballos – who is currently on his second loan spell at the Emirates – had spoken to him about the move.
“Yeah he (Ceballos) texted me here the other day and he had only good things to say about the club the manager and everything,” said Odegaard.
“So that was also important for me. He was happy for me to come here so that was a good thing for me to know someone here and to hear it from someone inside the club as well.”
The 22-year-old also opened up on the Arsenal legend he is looking to emulate in his time at the Emirates.
“Yeah there was a lot but I think Fabregas for me was one of my idols when I grew up,” he said when asked about the Gunners heroes who inspired his game. “So especially him.
The way he controls the game, the way he dictated the game, his technique, his ability to give assists and also score goals. Everything about his game.
“I tried learn as much as possible when I grew up watching him. He was a top player.”
Odegaard’s deal took a long time to get over the line, but the Norwegian revealed that it almost took place quite a few years earlier.
As one of the most highly rated youngsters in Europe he was being touted by top clubs across the continent after making his Norway debut aged just 15. He revealed that Arsenal were among them.
By signing up for our Arsenal newsletter, you will receive a once-daily email, focused around goings-on at Emirates Stadium.
You won’t miss a thing when it comes to the Gunners – you’ll get all you need to know directly into your inbox.
We’ll also send out special newsletters with any big breaking news too.
And with the January transfer window now open there’s plenty of content to get your teeth into.
How do you sign up?
It’s easy and only takes seconds.
Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article – or any article on the Arsenal section of football.london in fact – labelled ‘Get the biggest daily stories by email’ and click ‘Subscribe’.
And that’s it, you’re all set.
If you decide later that you no longer wish to receive the emails, simply follow the unsubscribe link in one of the newsletters – but we don’t think you’ll want to.
For more details, click here.
“Yeah I was here,” he said. “I visited the club and trained a little bit and had a chat with the club and I had a really good feeling when I was here.
“I was thinking a lot about it. In the end it wasn’t my decision at that time, but I had a really good time and I remember it well.
“When I was here the first time I had a really good feeling and every time I heard about the club I had a good feeling and now I’m here so I think maybe it’s meant to be.”