Although there was early uncertainty over whether such a return would be possible, Martin Odegaard wound up signing with Arsenal during the recent summer transfer window. After spending the latter half of last season on loan with the Gunners, the now-former Real Madrid midfielder opted to return to Arsenal on a four-year permanent transfer deal.
Odegaard was under contract with Real Madrid for seven years, although he amounted to a mere 11 appearances with the first-team. From his stint with Real Madrid Castilla to the four different loan moves, he never found his footing with the La Liga giants.
In speaking to the Norwegian-based station TV2 (via Marca), Odegaard reflected on his run with Real Madrid, where he shared a behind-the-scenes perspective on several difficulties that he faced while with the club.
“Of course, there were many tough periods,” Odegaard said. “I experienced a lot with both the first team and the second team. I have been close to the best and biggest. It made me stronger. I feel I have grown a lot on it.
“When you are at the highest level, it is not as easy to make friends and that kind of thing. At least not when you are young and come from somewhere else. It can be tough at times. But it has made me stronger, and I am very happy and pleased to have experienced it.”
Now with Arsenal, Odegaard is much pleased with the environment within the team’s locker room.
“It’s [Arsenal’s dressing room] quite large, I would say,” Odegaard said. “I think it’s a bit like that in the biggest clubs. It gets a little more scattered and all that. I’m very happy where I am now, a very nice squad and a good bunch. It’s nice and easy to thrive.”
For a player that has set high expectations for his run with the Gunners, he is off to a promising start this season, which includes the game-winning goal against Burnley in Premier League play.
Odegaard and his Arsenal side will return to league play following the October international break with a key home matchup against Crystal Palace.