When Martin Odegaard could make Arsenal debut as transfer nears completion

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Martin Odegaard could make his Arsenal debut against Southampton as he closes in on his transfer from Real Madrid.

Odegaard will be eligible to face the Saints in Tuesday's Premier League clash as long as he completes his loan switch by midday on Monday.

The 22-year-old attacking midfielder is set to become Mikel Arteta's second signing of the January window after Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan joined on loan last week.

Odegaard will join on loan for the rest of the season after Gunners boss Arteta targeted more creativity from midfield.

He was due to arrive in London on Sunday evening and is set to undergo a medical on Monday, according to The Athletic.

If the deal is completed by noon he will able to face Southampton, who knocked Arsenal out of the FA Cup on Saturday.

It is doubtful Arteta would throw him in so soon, with the Norway international having played just five minutes of football since his last start for Madrid at the beginning of December.

But the manager will want to have him on board as soon as possible as he looks to reignite Arsenal's campaign in the second half of the season.

Impressive performances from Emile Smith Rowe, 20, and Bukayo Saka, 19, have helped spur a mini-revival in the league recently, but Arteta will be fearful of burning his youngsters out.

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So the arrival of Odegaard cannot come too soon as the Gunners face big games against Manchester United this Sunday, Wolves a week on Tuesday and Aston Villa the following Saturday.

Arsenal have beaten Real Sociedad to Odegaard's signature after he impressed on loan at the Anoeta last season, scoring seven goals and posting nine assists in 36 games.

He has made seven La Liga appearances for Madrid this season, as well as two in the Champions League, but has not been named in a starting line-up since their win over Shakhtar Donetsk on December 1.

But Norway boss Stale Solbakken reckons he will thrive at the Emirates.

He told Norwegian outlet VG, quoted by Metro : "First of all if it happens, I think it shows Martin has an extremely high level of confidence in himself, considering he is going into a new league and a team that, although they have improved a lot lately, had some good wins and climbed the table.

"The way Arsenal play will fit him well, a kind of football that suits him. He can also play in different midfield roles, whichever Mikel Arteta chooses.

"He will get assists and be a good team player."

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