Martin Odegaard is currently Arsenal’s club captain and sitting top of the Premier League, but he joined the Gunners in very different circumstances.
Mikel Arteta’s side sat 15th in the table in December 2020, so joining that team wasn’t necessarily an easy sell in the January transfer window.
Speaking to The Players’ Tribune, Odegaard explained how Arteta convinced him it was the right move to make.
“I spoke to Mikel Arteta on a Zoom call and he told me all about the project,” Odegaard recalled.
“At the time, Arsenal were not doing well. They were way down like 15th in the table, but that meeting … Honestly, I challenge anyone to come away from a meeting with Arteta and not believe everything he tells you.
“He is next level. It’s hard to explain. He’s passionate, he’s intense and sometimes, yeah, he’s a bit crazy … but when he speaks, you understand that whatever he says will happen, will happen.
“He told me his plan, everything he was building towards. He knew exactly what needed to change at the club.
“He told me all about these amazing young players in the squad — Saka, Martinelli, Smith Rowe, etc., etc. He told me how he wanted me to fit in and how I was going to improve.
“I got this strong feeling that he was onto something really special.”
In the end, Odegaard obviously saw enough in his initial loan spell to make the move permanent, and he’s now leading the team as captain towards Champions League football and a title charge.
It remains to be seen what the 24-year-old will achieve in north London, but he looks to be improving with each passing season with his new club.
It’s unlikely he’ll have many regrets about his move to Arsenal right now.