If things go according to plan, Arsenal will sign Real Madrid’s Martin Odegaard on loan for the remainder of the season.
The youngster has once again been cast aside by Zinedine Zidane despite being one of Real Sociedad’s best players during his previous loan spell away from the Santiago Bernabeu.
Mikel Arteta needs a creative presence to fill the void left by Mesut Ozil, and Odegaard fits the bill perfectly.
However, one former Gunners legend has guarded against disappointment by suggesting that there are parallels to the Denis Suarez transfer.
“I don’t think he’d walk into the team by any stretch,” Alan Smith told Astro SuperSport, cited by the Daily Star.
“He’s had his problems developing at Real Madrid and the last thing Arsenal want is to get somebody in who can’t offer anything.
“You think back to Denis Suarez [the season before last] who came to the club and physically he just wasn’t ready and then he picked up injuries.
“It was a bit of an embarrassment in the end, so hopefully they will do their homework on Odegaard.
“He’s a young player that went to Real Madrid, and so much is expected of him, and as so often happens it doesn’t quite materialise like that.”
Although Smith makes a reasonable enough argument, Martin Odegaard isn’t Denis Suarez, and has proved his worth at Sociedad and Heerenveen before that, he just isn’t to Zidane’s taste.
More accurately, the Frenchman has relied too much on his old guard who don’t need too much coaching as such, and trying to integrate others into the squad has proved beyond his capabilities.