Martin Odegaard makes Arsenal transfer admission after issuing Champions League demand –
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Martin Odegaard makes Arsenal transfer admission after issuing Champions League demand



Martin Odegaard insists he joined Arsenal for “nights like these” after their dramatic march into the Champions League quarter finals.

Gunners captain Odegaard, 25, now looks the bargain of the century because Arsenal signed him from Real Madrid on a permanent basis for just £30m in 2021. Odegaard had been the teenage wonderkid who dreamed of playing for Real Madrid but gave up on the Bernabeu to get regular football at Arsenal.

That decision has paid rich rewards for both Odegaard and Arsenal as the Norway playmaker now looks one of the best midfielders in Europe. Odegaard was outstanding as Arsenal overcame Porto on penalties in a dramatic night at the Emirates as the Gunners reached the Champions League quarter finals for the first time in 14 years.

Arsenal also sit proudly on top of the Premier League and Odegaard insists he always had faith that Mikel Arteta’s vision would come good even if there were tricky times at the start. When asked whether it was night likes these that convinced Odegaard to join, he said: “Yeah, definitely.

‌”When I came here I believed in the project, in the club, what they were doing, everything around the club, I believed in it – and now we are here doing well.


“We just have to keep pushing each other and make sure we get a little bit better every day. We will see where it takes us.

“But I think we have to use this, we have to grow off this. It is a massive night for everyone. We are still a young squad, but this was another big experience for everyone. We have to keep building on that and use it in a good way going into the end of the season. It should be a massive boost for everyone.”

Odegaard also believes that overcoming seasoned European campaigners Porto will give them invaluable experience. Porto used all the tricks in the book to slow the game down, hold out for penalties and yet still Arsenal held their nerve to get through.

‌Odegaard insists they can learn a lot and it should stand them in good stead for the rest of the campaign. “I think it is a massive boost for everyone,” he said. “The way we did it also, it maybe wasn’t the best game, but you just saw everyone pushing so hard, digging so deep, and I think you saw the mentality in the team when we stepped up for the penalties.

‌”I am really proud of everyone. We have to use this in a good way. We won the game and we got through, that was the goal and we did it. Still, I feel like we could have done better with the ball, could have created more chances and threatened them more. But, in the end, we got there and that’s all that matters.


“I think it is just game management. We have talked about that a lot of times, controlling the emotions, and I think we did that really well. We came into the game with belief, we got the first goal, and we kept on trying all the time. I am proud of everything we did as a team.”

Odegaard could afford to laugh at himself over Arsenal’s disallowed goal in the second half when the midfielder had the ball in the net, celebrated and then referee Clement Turpin disallowed it for a foul which few others could see. It might not have been funny if Arsenal had lost and gone out but Odegaard smiled as he recalled celebrating on his own.

Odegaard added: “That was mad, wasn’t it? I felt a bit awkward when I turned round and I saw no one. I was sure it was a goal and looking at the foul, it is a really soft one as well. But we got there, so it doesn’t matter.”

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