Arsenal look to tie down captain Martin Odegaard after stellar season3 min read
Arsenal are in talks to agree a new long-term deal with club captain Martin Odegaard. The Norwegian has been among the best players in the Premier League this season, stepping up massively to help Arsenal emerge from being UEFA Champions League qualifying contenders to contending for the league title.
While the league title has almost certainly gone now, the club is keen to build quickly to maintain momentum going into the 2023-24 season. Odegaard has been a critical part of the clubs progress this year, and he looks certain to quickly agree terms. The captain has been clear that is keen to help the Gunners fight for silverware against next year, and sees his long-term future in North London.
Arsenal ‘saved’ Odegaard from an unhappy spell at Real Madrid. Having shone for Real Sociedad on loan, he return to Los Blancos but soon found himself lacking trust from senior management. This subsequently opened up the door to a move to England, where he arrived at Arsenal despite links with Liverpool and others.
The club see his progress as stellar, having grown from an inconsistent playmaker to one of the beating hearts of the side. It is expected his new deal with reflect his position as one of Arsenal’s most important players, earning him a wage rise that should put him in line with some of the top earners in the league.
While Arsenal have had poor luck in recent years with signing their biggest-name talents to top-level deals, there is confidence that Odegaard will only go up, not down, in the years to come. His prime age and his consistent improvement since arriving under Mikel Arteta has ensured his future looks bright.
When the likes of Must Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang signed their long-term deals, they were arguably in their prime or just toward its end. Odegaard is different. He is more than young to improve, and has already shown massive growth in terms of leadership.
William Saliba also in line for new terms
Signed on a large fee, William Saliba was always purchased with the future in mind. Loans at Nice and Marseille helped to build the confidence of the young defender, though, and he eventually returned to North London last summer. He quickly established himself as one of the mainstays of the team. In fact, the fizzled title challenge could be seen as a consequence of his injuries later on in the year.
Saliba, though, is in a precarious contract situation given he has not signed new terms since he first arrived at the club. With that in mind, it is expected that Arsenal will look to move at a similar pace as they will with Odegaard to tie down one of the young pillars of the current side.
Like the Norwegian, Saliba is expected to only improve in the years to come. And with Champion League football to offer, too, Arsenal can find it easier to secure their best players to long-term deals as they offer one of the most attractive and competitive packages in England.
After many years of inconsistency and strife, Arsenal finally look well on their way to returning to being one of the top destinations in English football.