Paul Merson hoping Arsenal make this signing in the summer
Paul Merson explains why he's keen to see Arsenal sign Martin Odegaard on a permanent basis
Paul Merson is hoping that Arsenal can complete a deal to sign Martin Odegaard on a permanent deal this summer.
The Norway international has been earning lots of praise for his performances in recent weeks after having joined the Gunners on a six-month loan deal back in January.
Odegaard, 22, has been a regular fixture in Mikel Arteta’s first team and has scored two goals in 12 appearances in all competitions so far for the north London side.
As things stand, Arsenal do not have the option to buy Odegaard on a permanent deal and it remains to be seen whether the Gunners will look to secure a long-term move for the playmaker.
However, former Arsenal midfielder Merson has admitted that he would love to see the Gunners conclude a deal to bring Odegaard to The Emirates on a permanent basis.
Writing in his column for the Daily Star, Merson said: “Martin Odegaard looks a really good player and I hope Arsenal have a chance of signing him permanently.
“Because if they don’t have a chance of making his loan permanent next season, why is he playing?
“If they know he doesn’t want to stay, he shouldn’t be playing because he’s taking opportunities away from people like Emile Smith Rowe.
“So I hope Arsenal have done their homework and know what the situation is – I’d be disappointed if they haven’t already made a bid to be honest!
“It took him a while to adjust but you have to give him the ball. He gets into lots of good positions, and to start with his team-mates weren’t seeing him.
“They weren’t giving him the ball. But now he’s getting it more often and he’s making things happen. He can hurt opposing teams.
“It’s almost a free role and for someone so young to be trusted with such a difficult position at such a young age is a big deal.
“But if he’s OK after his injury and he helps Arsenal win the Europa League, Real Madrid will probably want him back – or add a lot more money to his asking price.”
Arsenal will return to Premier League action after the international break when they host Liverpool FC at Anfield on Sunday.
The Gunners are currently in ninth place in the Premier League table as they look to better their eighth-placed finish from last season.