John Barnes says it would ‘make sense’ for Real Madrid loanee Martin Odegaard to permanently sign for Arsenal in the summer transfer window.
After a successful loan spell at Real Sociedad in the 2019/20 season, the Norway international was afforded limited game time under Zinedine Zidane in the early parts of the current campaign and decided to make the January switch to the Gunners on loan.
Odegaard has made 11 appearances for Arsenal across all competitions and found the back of the net twice, including a crucial equaliser in his side’s 2-1 win over north London rivals Tottenham last weekend.
According to reports, Arteta is keen on keeping Odegaard after his loan deal expires at the end of the season and Arsenal chiefs are open to the idea as long as it is financially viable.
And Liverpool legend Barnes believes a permanent deal is the right move for both the club and the player.
‘It would make sense for Martin Ødegaard to stay in North London for the foreseeable future and for Arsenal to keep him on a permanent basis,’ Barnes told BonusCodeBets.
‘Ødegaard isn’t going to get back into the Real Madrid team next season so it would be pointless for him to leave a club where he is getting regular game time and performing well.
‘It was a mistake for him to sign for Real Madrid at 15, because he was never going to play much and this stifled his development.
‘If Real Madrid do not win the league this season, they’re going to make some major signings, meaning he almost certainly will not make the team next season.
‘I’ve been impressed with Ødegaard, and although he’s playing in an inconsistent team, he’s been playing well, Arsenal will get better and so will he.’
Odegaard signed for Madrid as a 16-year-old back in 2015 but has found first-team opportunities hard to come by.
The 22-year-old’s move to the Emirates is his fourth different loan spell since joining the La Liga giants, and he is keen to find some ‘stability’ in his career.
‘I said many times that I have been looking for stability [at the same club], but haven’t found it,’ Odegaard told VG last week.
‘I think it will be important to find stability. I am very happy at Arsenal, enjoying myself. I like it here. ‘Now my focus is to finish the season then we will see.’