The Reason Why Martin Odegaard Did Not Get Mesut Ozil’s Iconic Number 11 Jersey

Published 08/20/2021, 5:53 AM EDT


Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard was arguably one of the biggest standout players in the 2020-21 season for Arsenal. Although he was on loan from Real Madrid, Odegaard still managed to showed his class.

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While his production was pretty limited, the Norwegian regularly picked up crucial passes and created chances for Gunners’ attack. But the 24-year-old’s return to the Londoners seemed unlikely at the beginning of the window.

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Given Real Madrid were hard hit by the pandemic and given their aging midfield, there was a real chance that Odegaard could slot in the Real roster under new head coach Carlo Ancelotti. But the Italian took a shocking decision when he decided to drop the Norwegian from the first match day squad.

After countless number of reports and rumors of Odegaard eying for a move away from the Spanish capital, the Norwegian finally got his wish. Arsenal brought back the 24-year-old in a permanent deal with a transfer fee of €35 million.

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Arsenal give number 8 jersey to Martin Odegaard

While the Norwegian donned Mesut Ozil’s iconic number 11 jersey in his loan spell, this time he hasn’t been given the same luxury. Instead Odegaard was given the number 8 jersey which was previously worn by former Real teammate Dani Ceballos.

The prime reason for the same is Uruguayan midfielder Lucas Torreira. Torreira came to Arsenal back in 2018 and hasn’t been a regular member in Gunners’ rotation under Mikel Arteta. While his loan move to Atletico looked promising initially, the 25-year-old failed to impress Diego Simeone and Co.

The 25-year-old wasn’t even included in the Londoner’s disappointing season opener against Brentford. With the Uruguayan seemingly not in Arteta’s plans, Arsenal are reportedly looking to offload the former Sampdoria midfielder.

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But bids have been sparse for the Uruguayan. As for Odegaard, the Norwegian is expected to be a mainstay in the Gunners lineup. Given the impact he showed playing as an attacking midfielder, the 24-year-old can be a primary outlet for chance creation.

A forward that Arteta could look forward to is the 4-2-3-1 system. With Emile-Smith Rowe playing as the left winger, Bakayo Saka as the right winger and Odegaard as the attacking midfielder, Arsenal will have a dangerous attacking trio.

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This formation worked wonders for the Gunners last season. Although they only featured together in 4 games due to injury concerns, Arsenal had a fantastic record of 3 wins and 1 draw at the time. How do you think Mikel Arteta will use Martin Odegaard?

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Aditya Mohapatra

1177 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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