Arsenal asked to pay in excess of £43m to sign creative midfielder: Is he worth the fee?

Arsenal will reportedly have to shell out more than £43 million to sign Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard this summer.

The Gunners are on the hunt for a creative midfielder and have been linked with a move for Odegaard as well as Leicester City‘s James Maddison. Odegaard spent the second half of last season on loan at Arsenal and impressed for the most part.

According to ESPN, Real Madrid consider the 22-year-old Norway international as an integral part of the club’s future. However, they are willing to listen to offers for Odegaard and will part with him for the right price.

Odegaard was widely considered one of the finest young prospects in Europe when he joined Madrid in 2015. But he has not quite lived up to the hype and has made just a handful of appearances for the club.

He is now reportedly pushing for an exit in order to secure regular playing time.

Martin Odegaard to Arsenal – Is he worth the fee?

Arsenal’s lack of creative options in midfield is well-documented. In the first half of last season, they struggled to provide the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with regular service and were one of the least-threatening teams going forward.

Odegaard’s arrival in January certainly eased some of their woes. Although the Norwegian ended up scoring just one goal and providing two assists in 14 games for the Gunners, he did show glimpses of his potential.

Odegaard is currently behind the likes of Luka Modric, Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Federico Valverde in the pecking order at Real Madrid and is unlikely to gain too many minutes. Thus a move to north London would be ideal for the talented youngster as he looks to take his game to the next level.

The 22-year-old will add plenty of creativity, flair and technical ability to the Arsenal midfield. Quick, agile and blessed with great close control, Odegaard likes to dribble past defenders before picking out his teammates. He has a great passing range and can unlock defences with accurate through balls. Arsenal tend to struggle against teams that employ a low block and Odegaard’s presence will go a long way in solving that problem.

He is also versatile and can operate behind the striker, or out on the right flank. At 43 million, he represents a much cheaper alternative to Maddison, who is being valued at over 70 million by Leicester.

Moreover, Odegaard is just 22 and yet to hit his prime.

If Arsenal are to truly challenge for a top-four spot this season, they need to add creativity to their ranks and a move for Odegaard will be a step in the right direction.

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