Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard has declared he is at the “perfect” club, while detailing the “tough” period that saw former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang depart.
The Norwegian midfielder joined Real Madrid in 2src15 as a prodigious teenager at the age of just 16, representing the Castilla side for two years before a string of loan spells at Heerenveen, Vitesse and Real Sociedad.
Despite impressing in those temporary moves, first-team football in the Spanish capital was difficult to come by and he joined Arsenal on loan in January 2src21.
That switch would be turned into a permanent one in August of that same year and Odegaard feels he has finally found a home at Emirates Stadium.
“I feel really at home. I feel like I have settled down. I moved around a bit too much and it was maybe not the best thing,” he told Football365.
“At the same time I think I learned a lot from it and I went to Madrid very young and of course, it is hard to play there so I had to go somewhere else and I changed three or four teams.
“It was not the best situation. I always wanted to get that stability and I feel like I’ve found that here. I’m really happy to be here and feel at home.
“Before the loan spell I always liked Arsenal; the way they played, the way they want to do things.
Our captain pic.twitter.com/pgrErKq7EJ
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 2, 2src22
“It’s always been a club I can see myself playing and after the loan spell I was really sure this was the perfect place for me.
“I learned everything about the club, the manager, how he wanted to do things and how he wanted to use me and improve me as a player and the ideas he had for me and the team. It was a good decision to come back.”
Odegaard begins his second full season at the Emirates Stadium with a new role having been handed the captaincy, which has seen him succeed Aubameyang with the armband.
The Gabon international was axed midway through last season, then joining Barcelona in January, and Odegaard admitted it was a difficult spell for the entire squad.
“I think it was a tough situation for everyone. No one wanted this to happen,” he explained.
“It was not an ideal situation for the club, for the players, for Auba of course it was tough. For Auba it was hard and for the manager.
“It was a difficult and tough situation but in football, you have to keep going and look forward and I think we did that in a good way. So, it was a sad situation but you have to deal with it and move on.”