Arsenal don’t look like they’ll be signing Martin Odegaard this summer transfer window with the Gunners’ chances of bringing the midfielder back to north London from Real Madrid now classed as ‘slim’. It’s going to prompt a rethink from the club.
It can be deemed encouraging to see the club head into the window with one clear target in mind. Despite numerous links to other playmakers, Odegaard has been the priority target which at least bodes well for Arsenal having a plan in mind.
With that now looking highly unlikely, where there is less clarity is in the profile of player. Emi Buendia, for example, boasts an entirely different skillset to the Norwegian and unless the pair were being looked at with a view to signing both, it leaves some confusion.
What is certain is that another No. 10 will arrive this summer.
Arsenal: 7 Martin Odegaard transfer alternatives in summer market as Real Madrid take stance on Norwegian’s future
There is an outstanding amount of talent across Europe in every position and missing out on one target should not constitute a meltdown. Especially now, with the Premier League being the only division with any real financial clout, there are deals to be made.
Taking advantage of the likes of Ligue 1’s situation and Serie A’s troublesome predicament means Arsenal can find players to suit the needs of the club. Furthermore, there are plenty of options that won’t force £50m outlays.
In terms of like-for-like alternatives, Arsenal wouldn’t need to bring in a carbon copy of Odegaard depending on how they strengthen the midfield area and what formation they opt for. While the 22-year-old fell into the progressive passer mould, there is absolute scope for a carrier or bigger goal threat play in the No. 10 slot depending on other factors.
Due to that, the net can be bigger and cast wider in regards to the profile of player. Europe is awash with talent from all over the world and in the hunt for the right man for Arsenal, there are seven suggestions they could look at.
1. Lorenzo Pellegrini – Roma
A player that won’t be unfamiliar to Arsenal fans, or indeed the club itself, is Lorenzo Pellegrini, who the club have been tracking since as far back as 2017 when he was a Sassuolo player. He’s been closely monitored ever since.
What could draw Arsenal to the 24-year-old is, you guessed it, his versatility.
Pellegrini can play anywhere in midfield, from a deeper defensive slot up to a creative No. 10. This season he’s fluctuated between roles but maintained outstanding high standards throughout. Seven goals and six assists in Serie A were backed up by a 0.29 xA per 90 ranking for a 93rd percentile, which when compared to midfielders (instead of attacking midfielders and wingers) is 99th percentile worthy.
A progressive passer with an eye for the defence splitting ball, his SCA and GCA are all desirably high with through balls, switches and passes into the penalty area all strong suits on his repertoire.
At 24 years old he’s at an excellent age and, interestingly, with Granit Xhaka on the way to Roma there is already a line of communication opened up between the clubs. What’s even better is that he only has 12 months left on his deal and a €30m release clause (payable in two separate installments) included in his contract.
Where the struggles may lie is convincing him to leave his boyhood club for a Premier League side not in Europe. With Arsenal keeping tabs on him well over a year, it will be interesting to see whether it’s an idea floated Roma’s way.