Odegaard won’t be present, even though these are the two clubs he most recently played for before joining Arsenal in the January transfer window.
In January, when it emerged that the Norwegian wanted to leave Real Madrid in search of more minutes, Real Sociedad emerged as a candidate to sign him. That made sense as it was at La Real that the playmaker had enjoyed so much success in 2019/20.
Back in the summer of 2019, Odegaard was loaned to Real Sociedad with an agreement for the loan to last two seasons. However, following the coronavirus pandemic and the transfer market difficulties this entailed, Los Blancos recalled Odegaard from his loan.
Odegaard wanted to stay as he was enjoying his football in San Sebastian and had made good friends with Adnan Januzaj and Alexander Isak. He had played 36 games, scored seven goals and produced nine assists, while also helping his team to reach the all-Basque 2019/20 Copa del Rey final against Athletic Club.
When Real Madrid recalled him, Real Sociedad were shocked too and, fortunately for them, were able to bring in David Silva to maintain some creativity in attacking midfield.
Odegaard in training with Arsenal
At Real Madrid, there were high hopes for Odegaard and he started their first game of the season – which, ironically, came against Real Sociedad.
However, he wasn’t able to become a regular starter. This is partly because 35-year-old Luka Modric has been enjoying a second youth this season.
Unhappy, he looked for a winter move and Real Sociedad fans dreamed of welcoming the Norwegian back to the Reale Arena.
Yet his loan destination was to be in England, at Arsenal. As Real Madrid and Real Sociedad meet again this Monday night, Odegaard will be watching on as a Gunner.
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