Martin Odegaard has sent a heartfelt message to Arsenal and their fans after confirming he will be returning to Real Madrid.
The Norwegian spent the season on loan at the Emirates and Arsenal fans were hopeful of holding onto the playmaker.
Odegaard made himself into a fan favourite with some eye-catching performances and he now appears determined to nail down a place in Real’s side.
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“Arsenal, thank you so much for these 6 months,” he wrote on Instagram.
“My time with the Arsenal family will always hold a special place in my heart.
“I want to thank everyone in and around the club for the way you made me feel like a part of the family since the first day.
Special thanks to the fans, even without you guys at the stadium for the majority of the season, I felt you with me at all times.
“A huge thank you to the boss and his staff for everything I’ve learned during my stay.
“Thank you also to all my teammates for such a great time on and off the pitch. Will miss you all.
“Thank you, gunners family. Always in my heart.”
The departure of Zinedine Zidane will be a big boost to Odegaard, who never managed to convince the Frenchman he was capable of being a starter.
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Mikel Arteta hoped he could convince Odegaard to stay at Arsenal, but those hopes were dashed when Zidane resigned from his post.
Carlo Ancelotti is now at the helm at Real and Odegaard is hopeful of a clean slate when he returns to Spain.
Arsenal will turn their attention to securing another playmaker after Odegaard’s exit and have been linked with a big-money move for Leicester City star James Maddison.
Arteta is targeting a big summer of ins and outs at the club, with Granit Xhaka and Matteo Guendouzi poised to leave.
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