By Sir Hardly Anyone
Some reports on the internet over the weekend have the Martin Ødegaard transfer from Real Madrid as signed and sealed. Others don’t even mention him.
Sadly that is the way it is going this winter window, and you can be sure that if he doesn’t come the matter will either be dropped totally or blamed on Arsenal delays and bumblinb (a word I made up while trying to type “bumbling”)
He’s an attacking midfielder who started out with Strømsgodset in the Norwegian League and he’s 22. Aside from playing eight times with Real Madrid he’s also played for Heerenveen, Vitesse and Real Sociedad on loan, as well as knocking up 25 games for Norway.
But aside from the media’s certainty over the weekend that he was on the way our only actual signing (as opposed to a loan) remains Omar Rekik, a defender from Hertha Berlin for half a million pounds.
The Daily Mirror this morning says, “Martin Odegaard is set to jet into London today to put pen to paper on a loan deal until the end of the season as his replacement.” Also they announce that “Mikel Arteta is also set to offload numerous other players as he continues to trim his squad ahead of the second half of the campaign.”
Yet despite all the excitement generated by the newspaper and others in recent days, they add that Ødegaard is “likely be the last of the window, with the Gunners now using the rest of the window to plan for the summer.”
So what happens if the deal for a man who looks like he could share the attacking midfield spot with Smith Rowe, doesn’t come through? Either the earlier reports which have it all done and dusted will simply be ignored, or Arsenal will be blamed for “being too slow” or “letting the deal slip through their fingers.”
Meanwhile the future of another player is toyed with by the Mirror that says “Matteo Guendouzi’s future plunged into doubt after managerial sacking and half-time row”. Writing about the loan of Guendouzi to Hertha Berlin we are told, the loan “was going well but this week his time in the Bundesliga has been thrown into turmoil.”
So this sounds rather like our Matteo having another row on the pitch with fellow players, or off the pitch with the manager, but no, for it seems that “manager Bruno Labbadia was sacked” this weekend as “the midfielder was also seen arguing with a teammate as they were thrashed by Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga.” The club we are told is just outside the relegation zone.
Oh, so in fact nothing has happened about Guendouzi exactly, just his manager has gone. But FoLo are never ones to miss a chance for a transfer related story on their site with the tale that “Arteta has also hinted at signing a left-back which has prompted links to Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand.”
Elsewhere HITC tell us that Mikel Arteta “doesn’t appear to rate Saliba, who cost £27 million during Unai Emery’s reign in 2019.” Yet we are assured this is strange because the player was “one of his team’s stand-out performers on Saturday as the French side won 1-0 away to Lens.”
Still, it is always nice to find some of our own ideas being recycled as arsenalarsenal.net pick up on the notion floated here that there was such a thing as a football equivalent of the QAnon nutters in the USA – and it is of course the football writers.
As a result, we are told, the club has “followed the demands to stop taking gambles on young players and start instead to pay big money for established experienced players.” (Err, isn’t that what we have been doing?)
The site adds, “Last night I read that QAnon supporters and followers were left bereft, dejected and even grieving that what they believed would happen (Trump launching National Guard/Military/Police to mass arrest everyone at Biden’s inauguration in the ultimate arrest of Deep State participants… I kid you not), didn’t happen.
“Now I am not putting the ‘SSFM’ brigade in the same boat but it does feel that they have had their beliefs dragged from under them in the same way: they were convinced by media pundits, fellow fans and influencers that the money spent would turn us into some unstoppable force, every million spent was cheered – the bigger the better, we are putting together a title challenge etc etc.”
Yes well, such things happen. So certainties or not? Goal.com says, “Odegaard set to complete loan move to Arsenal from Real Madrid” which sounds fairly certain.
And CaughtOffiside chimes in with ” Medical today: Martin Odegaard due at Arsenal training ground to finalise loan transfer.” While the Standard offers “Odegaard set for Arsenal medical today as loan deal agreed.
So maybe it is all happening. But if it doesn’t you can be sure it will be Arsenal’s fault, not that of the media in getting the story completely wrong.
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