Martin Odegaard has already made decision over longer-term Arsenal transfer

Arsenal: Arteta explains how he convinced Odegaard to join

Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard is open to a longer-term loan deal, according to reports. Odegaard completed his six-month loan to Arsenal from Real Madrid on Wednesday. The Norway international will most likely be competing with the impressive Emile Smith Rowe for the No 10 role under Mikel Arteta.

Odegaard is in line to make his debut in Saturday’s visit of Manchester United.

However, the 22-year-old is unlikely to start because he has only played five minutes of competitive action since the beginning of December after falling out of favour under Zinedine Zidane.

Odegaard will wear the No 11 shirt for Arsenal during his stay at the club.

And reports from Spain claim he chose that number with a longer-term view in mind.

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Defensa Central say that Smith Rowe is likely to wear the No 10 shirt from next season following the departure of Mesut Ozil earlier this month.

Premier League rules state a player cannot change shirt numbers during a season so Smith Rowe will have to wait until the summer before he gets his hands on the No 10.

It was somewhat surprising that Odegaard opted for the No 11 over 10, however it is claimed it was because the 11 will be free for him again next season if he were to return to Arsenal.

Odegaard is yet to play for the Gunners but appears to already be open to a longer stay at the club.

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Arsenal boss Arteta spoke about the reason for signing Odegaard at his press conference on Thursday.

The Spaniard said Odegaard is a player he has followed for some time.

“He’s a player that we followed for some time and we believe that he’s got some special qualities that we need, that we have been missing,” Arteta said.

“Now we have to give him a little bit of time. He hasn’t played that many minutes in Madrid but he’s been training hard and he looks so excited, as we are, to have another big talent at our club.

“I think in the last few seasons he’s progressed and developed in the right way.

“I’ve followed him very closely because he played for Real Sociedad, which is my home town. I know him really well.

“I’ve been really impressed. He’s such a talent. He needs the right environment, he needs a little bit of time but I think he’s got the qualities to be a success for us.”

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