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Arsenal may still sign another creative midfield player before the transfer window closes despite signing £29million Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid.
Odegaard, 22, impressed during his half a season with the Gunners earlier this year and is believed to have been manager Mikel Arteta’s primary summer target, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.
Leicester City’s James Maddison was also a target of Arteta’s with reports now suggesting Arsenal’s pursuit has come to an end, while Lyon’s Houssem Aouar is another midfielder long linked with an Emirates move.
But Odegaard’s transfer does not necessarily mean Arsenal will cease to look for other creative midfielders.
Earlier in the window, Arteta and technical director Edu were pursuing Norwich City’s Emiliano Buendia, who eventually chose Aston Villa as his next destination.
But even amid the Buendia links, it was very clear through Arteta’s public statements that the club would still be pursuing Odegaard.
Arteta said: “We have a very clear and strong opinion on what we would like to do.
“He’s not our player. We’ll have discussions in the next few weeks, but first of all we need to respect that he’s a Real Madrid player.
“We’ll have those communications. We’ve tried to make everything that we could to get Martin performing for the team, which I think he’s done.
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“He has adapted really well to our way of playing and to our football. Hopefully we have given him the hope and the feeling this could be a good place for him."
With the Gunners having pursued two players who are so different stylistically, it could be an indication that Arteta is after another kind of creative player alongside Odegaard, one more direct and adept at dribbling.
After all, Arsenal are a side which lack progressive players in midfield, as shown by their lack of goals (55 in the league) and chances created last season.
The north Londoners rely heavily on Emile Smith Rowe and an injury to either him or Odegaard, which occured last season, could take the Gunners back to square one and dash their hopes of securing European football.
And Arteta may be harkening back to his days as a player where Arsene Wenger had the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Mesut Ozil, Tomas Rosicky and Jack Wilshere all at his disposal.
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