Martin Odegaard has been nothing short of a revelation since his arrival at Arsenal in January.
Unfortunately for The Emirates faithful, the 22-year-old’s stay, as it stands, is temporary. The Norway national team captain is set to return to parent club Real Madrid come the end of the season, which would leave Arsenal with an Odegaard shaped hole behind the Gunners’ misfiring attack.
The midfielder’s finest hour in an Arsenal shirt came in the North London Derby, when he bagged the equaliser in his side’s comeback to overturn a 1-0 deficit to triumph 2-1, though his performance away at West Ham caught the eye of many.
In many ways, Odegaard’s fantastic performances could prove to be bittersweet for Mikel Arteta’s side, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is thought to already be big admirer of Odegaard and a rich vein of form will only strengthen Perez’ desire to keep him at the Bernabeu.
Ultimately, Arsenal could face being priced out of a permanent move for Odegaard and may have to seek midfield alternatives elsewhere.
According to Bild, one potential option is RB Leipzig midfielder Christopher Nkunku. Arsenal have been rumoured to be a fan of the French midfielder for a long time, with some reports suggesting Nkunku is unhappy at Leipzig – the Gunners may hold some optimism over finally securing his signature.
However, SportBILD journalist Christian Falk has warned the north London outfit a deal will be “difficult” to pull off.
“Leipzig are a bit shaken at the moment, and so Nkunku is also on the out list, I would say it will be difficult because he is tied down (his contract runs until 2024) and has a €40 million (£34.7m) market value.”
Falk went on to say how though Arsenal may explore different players if Nkunku proves too much of a challenge, from the player’s perspective Arteta’s side would represent a step up in his career.
“There are, of course, alternatives, Julian Draxler, who is available on a free transfer, or Julian Brandt, who is on the cut list at Dortmund.
“They are a bit easier to achieve, but from a quality point, they would, of course, be a club that would definitely be an upgrade for him.”