Martin Odegaard to stay in Arsenal. The captain has officially inked a fresh, long-term contract.
In an interview with the club’s official website, Odegaard expressed his enthusiasm about the decision, stating, “Extending my contract was an easy choice for me for various reasons.” The midfielder went on to elaborate, “Primarily, what our club is currently accomplishing is truly exceptional, and I want to be an integral part of it.
I’m genuinely excited about what lies ahead here. I’ve discovered a place where I can truly settle down and call my home.”
Odegaard then shared his unique journey, saying, “My story is somewhat unconventional, as I’ve moved between different clubs since the age of 16. However, at Arsenal, from day one, I’ve felt an incredible sense of belonging, and this is undeniably my home now.
A place where Martin beløngs ❤️ pic.twitter.com/UUqnAQRPfF— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 22, 2023
I’d like to extend my gratitude to everyone associated with the club, and of course, our incredible supporters. I remain committed to giving my all to bring success to this club in the years to come.”
Odegaard initially joined Arsenal on loan from Real Madrid in January 2021 and subsequently made the move permanent in August of the same year.
Over his time with the Gunners, the 24-year-old has made 92 appearances in the Premier League, contributing 25 goals and 13 assists.
Odegaard’s leadership was recognized as he was named club captain for the 2022/23 season and earned the EA SPORTS Player of the Month award for November and December 2022.
His first match following the contract extension will be the highly anticipated north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
Martin Ødegaard, born on December 17, 1998, in Drammen, began his early years in the local sports club known as Drammen Strong. His father, Hans Erik Ødegaard, a former footballer, played a significant role in his football journey as he not only co-founded a football section within the club but also coached his son’s team.
In 2005, when Ødegaard was just six years old, his parents and other supporters pooled together 50,000 kroner each to transform the club’s gravel field, Kjappen, into an artificial turf pitch. This transformation proved to be pivotal in his development as Ødegaard spent countless hours honing his skills on that very field.
Drammen Strong received recognition for their part in nurturing Ødegaard’s talent. Twice, Ødegaard selected the club to receive a 50,000 kroner (€5,800) prize, first for the Statoil talent award in April 2014 and later for the 2014 season. Furthermore, in 2015, Drammen Strong received a generous gift of 250,000 kroner, equivalent to approximately €29,000, from Strømsgodset Toppfotball when Ødegaard made his move to Real Madrid.
He made history in the Tippeligaen as its youngest goalscorer, and in 2015, he sealed a move to Real Madrid in a transfer initially valued at €4 million (Kr. 35 million). At Real Madrid, he etched his name into the club’s annals as their youngest player ever.
Despite facing irregular playing time, Ødegaard embarked on a series of loans to Eredivisie clubs Heerenveen and Vitesse, as well as La Liga outfit Real Sociedad, between 2017 and 2019. It was during this spell that Ødegaard tasted success by clinching the Copa del Rey with Real Sociedad in 2019.
Subsequently, following another loan stint, he made a high-profile transfer to Arsenal in 2021 for an initial £30 million (€35 million). His first full season with Arsenal proved to be a success, and in 2022, he was named the club’s captain.
Ødegaard made his senior international debut for Norway in 2014, an astonishing feat at the age of 15, setting records as the youngest senior Norway player and the youngest player to participate in a UEFA European Championship qualifying match. He assumed the mantle of full captaincy for Norway in March 2021.
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