Arsenal may be making the right decision by opting against a move for Nabil Fekir, but they shouldn’t be so quick to put all their eggs in the Martin Odegaard basket.
Fekir emerged as a potential ‘alternative’ to Odegaard this week with reports Arsenal could make a move for the Real Betis star should they come up short in their bid for their current midfield loan star.
But football.londonhas since learned that the Gunners’ interest is ‘tentative’ and unlikely to be pursued this summer.
That’s despite reports Fekir could be available for £26million this summer, significantly less than the £77million price tag that makes up his release clause.
A creative midfielder with plenty of talent on the ball, Fekir would be a steal at £26million, even if Liverpool did pass on the midfielder before his eventual move to Andalusia due to concern over knee injuries.
The 27-year-old has only missed seven games through injury since his 2019 move to Betis, and none of them have been related to the cruciate ligament injury he sustained in 2015. In fact, none of his four injuries since making the move from Lyon have been knee-related at all.
That might cause Liverpool to regret pulling out of the deal, but there were other factors, as there would be for Arsenal should they consider a deal.
Fekir is being seen as an ‘alternative’ to Odegaard, but he is a very different player. The Frenchman is more agile, direct and perhaps quicker with the ball.
Meanwhile, Odegaard has that gift of moving the ball at his own pace, dictating attacking moves with precise passing ability as he steps into the final third.
Arsenal fans have seen enough to know what the Norwegian offers, and make no mistake, it is more than the often inconsistent Fekir, it’s why they crave his signature so desperately after just 15 appearances, after all.
And as reported by football.london, Odegaard has told those close to him that he would like to stay at Arsenal beyond the end of this season.
But the Gunners’ chances of landing the Norwegian on a permanent deal could be complicated, with Los Blancos having always been very clear about just how excited they are over the 22-year-old.
He was signed as a prodigy in 2015 and that’s how he is reportedly still viewed.
Real Madrid may have a history of loaning out unwanted talents, but Odegaard does not necessarily fit into that category, in fact, Zinedine Zidane publically said he wanted the Norwegian to stay following his departure to Arsenal in January.
He said: “Odegaard? He wanted to leave, we talked two, three times about it. He wanted to play and I told him to stay and fight for his place.
“I wanted him back from his loan (at Real Sociedad) and I told him to stay because the season is still very long and he would have had his chances. But he wanted to leave and play. I really wanted him in my squad”.
Real Madrid see Odegaard as a ‘fundamental piece’ of their future, as reported in Spain, and that hasn’t changed because he has impressed for Arsenal.
The summer transfer window is just around the corner.
And the rumour mill is already starting to pick up speed.
Arsenal will not have a huge amount of money to spend, but Mikel Arteta will be hoping to make a number of moves, with loanee Martin Odegaard high up the list of priorities to bring in on a permanent deal.
But who would you sign? Get involved in our transfer window debate here.
With creative genius Luka Modric firmly in the back-end of his career, Odegaard is the obvious successor, and many believed replacing the Croatian Ballon d’Or winner would be near impossible.
So, in short, selling Odegaard this summer would be a hugely difficult decision for Real Madrid, and the £50million fee quoted may not even be enough to prise him from the Spanish capital, particularly with the midfielder holding a release clause worth more than £300million.
It won’t stop Arsenal trying, and it shouldn’t, as this might be the best chance they ever have to sign Odegaard.
But if the Gunners put all their eggs into one basket, they may well be left disappointed at the end of the transfer window.