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Martin Ødegaard seeking Champions League return with Arsenal

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By Martin Graham | 10th May 2022

Martin Ødegaard has expressed his desire for UEFA Champions League football once again after playing in the competition with Real Madrid.

The 23-year-old Norwegian joined Real Madrid as a 16-year-old and featured in a handful of games for the 13-time winners and record holders of the title. However, a number of loan spells away from the club never gave him the chance to be part of the full experience of the competition.

Ødegaard and Arsenal are currently on the right track back into Europe’s premier club competition. His amazing performances have contributed greatly to the Gunners’ cause as they seek to return to the competition for the first time since 2017, and possibly start another cycle of consecutive qualifications.

All they have to do is beat North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium at the weekend and their position in the Champions League will be secured. A loss would mean that they have to go down to the wire to confirm their place in the tournament next season.

Ødegaard, who is only one of a handful of players in the current Arsenal team to have played Champions League football, is pining for a taste of European nights once again. “I’ve played there a few games but I don’t feel like I’ve really played there,” he said.

“I really want to get into there and fight. That’s where the best teams want to be of course so that would be big for me and the club.

“We have a young team but I think with the young players we have, we have a lot of experience as well.

“We’ve been through a lot and we just enjoy playing football together and you can see that on the pitch. We enjoy it.”

Meanwhile, Arsenal could see their plans to lure winger Michael Olise away from Crystal Palace fall flat.

The Eagles understand the importance of the youngster, who only joined them this season from Championship club Reading and has gone on to score four times and assist eight goals in 31 total appearances.

Olise was valued at £35 million at Crystal Palace with five years left on his contract. Palace now want to get him to sign an extension in order to raise his value and chase away suitors.

The Athletic claims that the new deal will add one year to his current deal to extend his contract to 2026.

The report also claims that Olise is willing to remain and develop at Crystal Palace for a few more years, which throws a spanner in the works at Arsenal to sign him.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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