Mikel Arteta admits permanent Martin Odegaard transfer is ‘down to two things’

Mikel Arteta has opened the door to a permanent move for Martin Odegaard – but admits the decision is "down to two things".

The Real Madrid midfielder has joined the Gunners on loan for the remainder of the season and has been handed the No.11 shirt, following Mesut Ozil's move to Fenerbahce.

Odegaard, 22, had found first-team opportunities hard to come by at the Bernabeu and was expected to depart during the current transfer window.

Having impressed on loan at Real Sociedad last season, it was initially anticipated that the Norway international would return for another stint.

But instead Arsenal made a move to take Odegaard to the Emirates Stadium – and Arteta is keen for him to deliver in north London.

Speaking on Thursday, Arteta said: "He certainly has all the qualities and characteristics that we are looking for for that position.

"Then it will be down to two things.

"First of all, how well he adapts here and how much of an impact he can have in our team.

"Secondly, what Real Madrid and the player think about it because he's owned by Real Madrid and the player has a big say in that too."

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Odegaard will train with his new team-mates for the first time on Thursday, just two days out from the mouthwatering Premier League showdown with Manchester United.

However it is believed his lack of match fitness means he is highly unlikely to start.

Arteta added: 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.

"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.

"He's a specialist to play in the pockets, to play in the No 8 or 10 positions. He can play off the sides. He's a really creative player who's really comfortable on the ball in tight spaces.

"He has the capacity to create chances and to score goals.

"Something that he has improved a lot is his work-rate without the ball as well, so it's another option to give us more creativity for sure in the final third, and give us more options to set up in different ways against certain teams.

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