Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard, on loan from La Liga giants Real Madrid, scored his first goal for his new club on Thursday evening in the Europa League. The Norwegian drew first blood in their clash at Karaiskaki Stadium against Olympiacos, scoring from outside the area in the 34th minute, assisted by former Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey. Youssef El Arabi then levelled proceedings for the hosts before Gabriel and Mohamed Elneny ensured Arsenal secured the win.
Odegaard joined Arsenal in the January transfer window on loan until the end of the season after finding game-time difficult to come by in the first half of the season under Zinedine Zidane at Valdebebas. Mikel Arteta was happy to take him to North London, impressed by the football he played on loan at his old club Real Sociedad last season.
Odegaard actually played so well at San Sebastian that Madrid called him back a year early from what was supposed to be a two-year deal. Despite his incorporation, Arsenal are middling along rather mediocrely in the Premier League this season. They sit tenth in the league table, 22 points behind fourth-placed Chelsea. Arteta will hope that the Europa League can prove to be a catalyst for the Gunners to find consistency.
“It’s a great victory for us, a great result with three goals away from home,” Odegaard said post-game in comments carried by Diario AS. “Winning in this competition is always good. The mentality in this team is great. I’ve felt home from day one. I’m happy to be here, I feel very good.”