Arsenal sign Real’s Odegaard, Sheff’s Ramsdale

Arsenal have completed the signing of midfielder Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid, the club announced on Friday, while also confirming a deal for Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale that takes the club’s summer spending over the £100 million mark.

Odegaard, 22, spent last season on loan with the Premier League club and scored two goals in 20 appearances.

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Odegaard returned to Spain this summer and attempted to break into Madrid’s first team but was told by new manager Carlo Ancelotti that he would face competition for a regular place.

Sources told ESPN that the key breakthrough was Madrid’s decision earlier this month to drop their asking price from €60 million to €45m.

“You’ve seen the numbers and what we did after Christmas when Martin was in the team and we had people like Emile, the team performed at a completely different level,” manager Mikel Arteta said in a news conference on Friday.

“He’s someone that we admire and he’s still at the age in his career when the potential he has is still immense.

“He made us better, we needed more options, alternatives, creativity and players that can be morals for this football club. He is still a really young man, but he has huge experience in different clubs already.

“He has a unique talent based on the way we want to play so I’m delighted that the club has made an effort and we have Martin on a permanent deal here.”

Arsenal needed to offload midfielder Joe Willock to Newcastle United in a deal worth £25m to help finance the Odegaard transfer and create space in the squad.

Odegaard becomes Arsenal‘s fourth signing this season after Ben White, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares joined the club earlier this summer.

The club said in a statement that Odegaard, who will wear the No. 8 shirt, will not be available for Arsenal’s upcoming Premier League clash against Chelsea on Sunday.

The day’s other signing Ramsdale, 23, was left out of Sheffield United’s squad for Wednesday’s 4-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion.

The goalkeeper was part of Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 England squad. However, he has yet to make his full senior international debut.

“The club turned down a number of bids from Arsenal and expressed a desire to keep Ramsdale at Bramall Lane for the long-term. However, discussions earlier this week with the player and his representatives highlighted his desire to further his career away from S2,” Sheffield United said in a statement.

“In addition, Arsenal returned with another improved, head-turning bid. It was felt the best decision was to accept a club record,” the statement added.

Ramsdale played all 38 games in the league last season, keeping five clean sheets and was named Player of the Year for the club, but was unable to prevent them from being relegated to the second-tier Championship.

Ramsdale’s arrival at the Emirates Stadium is likely to see second-choice keeper Alex Runarsson, signed from French side Dijon last year, leave the club, and provide competition for Arteta’s first-choice Bernd Leno.

Ramsdale joined Sheffield United from Bournemouth in 2020 for £18.5 million.

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