artin Odegaard has revealed he had a trial at Arsenal as a teenager before he signed for Real Madrid – and said it feels like destiny that he has joined the Gunners.
The Norwegian midfielder has revealed he spent time training at Arsenal when he was 15 when Arsene Wenger was the manager at Emirates Stadium. With the biggest clubs around Europe chasing his signature, he eventually joined Real Madrid.
But Odegaard says it is a dream to join Arsenal and follow in the footsteps of one of his idols Cesc Fabregas.
“Yeah I was here,” he revealed when asked about a trial he had at Arsenal.
“I visited the club and trained a little bit. I had a chat with the club and I had a really good feeling when I was here. I was thinking a lot about it.
“In the end it wasn’t my decision at that time, but I had a really good time and I remember it well. When I was here the first time I had a good feeling and every time I heard about the club, I had a good feeling. Now I’m here, so I think it’s maybe meant to be.”
Odegaard is relishing the chance to emulate Fabregas, someone he grew up watching.
“In Norway, the Premier League is really big,” Odegaard told Arsenal.com. “Since I was a little kid there, we always watched all the games, me and my friends.
“I think it’s the biggest league, especially in Norway, so for me it’s always been a dream to play in the Premier League and I always liked the way Arsenal played and everything about the club. So it’s a dream come true in many ways.
“There were a lot [of Arsenal players I admired]. But I think Fabregas, for me, was one of my idols when I grew up. So especially him.
“The way he controls the game, the way he dictated the game, his ability to give assists and also score goals. Everything about his game. I tried to learn as much as possible when I grew up watching him. He was the top player.”
Real Sociedad and Ajax were also keen on signing Odegaard and the 22-year-old has revealed a revealed a phone call from Mikel Arteta helped convince him to join Arsenal.
Odegaard said: “I spoke to him [Arteta] before coming here, of course.
“That was very important for me and he seems like a top manager and I liked his ideas, the way he sees football and also the way he is.
“He gave me a great feeling and that was important for me to come here. He was crucial. “I think every time you go to a new place, you want to make sure that it feels good and that there is a plan. But I think everything here just seems good.
“I like the club and I always liked the way that the club wants to play. Everything about the club and now how the manager wants to play, I think it’s a club that really suits me well. So I think it’s a good match.”