Arsenal proven right on £135m transfer decision after £60m James Maddison snub

Arsenal have made a number of successful transfer moves in the last few windows

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 30: Martin Oedegaard and Declan Rice of Arsenal celebrate during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal FC at Vitality Stadium on September 30, 2023 in Bournemouth, England. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

Arsenal have had a number of big decisions to make regarding their midfield in the last few transfer windows. One of the biggest was bringing Martin Odegaard to the Emirates Stadium in 2021.

The Norwegian had been on loan in north London in 2020/21 before returning to Real Madrid. But Arsenal went back to sign him permanently that summer, following a succecssful loan spell.

And it has been a decision that has been more than vindicated since then. Odegaard has become the Gunners’ club captain and guided them to second place in the Premier League last year, with another title challenge on the cards this season.

Arsenal lead Liverpool by three points at the top of the table, with Manchester City a further point behind. The Reds and the Citizens do have one game and two games in hand, however, making it an interesting final month of the campaign to come.

Odegaard was at his influential best as the Gunners thrashed Chelsea 5-0 on Tuesday night, laying on two assists. That took his tally to eight for the season so far, with eight goals too – a total of 16 goal involvements.

One other player Arsenal were llinked to signing in 2021 was James Maddison, now at arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Leicester City had placed a £60million price tag on Maddison’s shoulders, whereas Odegaard cost £30million in the end.

Spurs would go on to snap up Maddison for £40million this summer and he has performed well for the Lilywhites. However, he has seven assists and four goals to his name this season, less than Odegaard now.

There is another player Arsenal signed that has moved into the same ball park as Maddison too. Declan Rice joined the Gunners in a British record £105million transfer from West Ham in the summer and moved to seven assists for the season with one against Chelsea. He also has six goals this season.

Arsenal spent a combined £135million on Odegaard and Rice, having turned down the chance to sign Maddison for £60million. Some Gunners supporters were up in arms over the decision not to sign Maddison back in 2021, but Edu and Mikel Arteta have certainly been proven right with Odegaard and Rice.

 

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