Arsenal: First fixtures of 2021/22 Premier League season
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Martin Odegaard’s admission that he wants to continue playing for Real Madrid has put Arsenal’s search for an attacking midfielder back at square one. The Norwegian had a successful loan spell at the Emirates Stadium in the second-half of the campaign just gone, with Gunners boss Mikel Arteta keen to bring him back permanently.
But Odegaard has now confirmed that he will be returning to the Spanish capital, despite his lack of game time with Los Blancos in recent years.
It appears that Zinedine Zidane’s departure and Carlo Ancelotti’s subsequent appointment as Madrid boss has been enough to convince Odegaard to stay in Spain.
That means that Arsenal will have to continue the search for a new attacking midfielder, which has been made a priority area by Arteta.
Here, Daily Express Sport looks at four other options Arsenal could turn to as they look to replace Odegaard…
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Leicester star James Maddison has become of the highest-rated young players in the Premier League since joining the Foxes from Norwich in 2018.
Playing mainly as a central attacking midfielder, the Englishman has starred under Brendan Rodgers at the King power Stadium.
His campaign last term was interrupted by injury, but he still scored 11 goals and notched 20 assists as he helped his side to win the FA Cup.
But while the Gunners are interested in signing the 24-year-old, a significant fee will be required, with Maddison’s contract still having three years left to run.
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The difficulty with completing a deal for Maddison could see the Gunners turn back to former transfer target Houssem Aouar.
He has impressed in Ligue 1 for Lyon in recent seasons, scoring eight goals and providing four assists to help them secure a top four spot in the campaign just gone.
While he usually occupies a deeper role, he does have the ability to play further forward and looks set to depart France this summer.
Much like Odegaard when he joined the Gunners in January, Coutinho has failed to break into Ronald Koeman’s plans at Barcelona.
The former Liverpool star made just 14 appearances for Barca last term and looks set to leave this summer as the Catalan club look to ease their financial worries.
The Brazilian has already shown he can star in the Premier League, having scored 41 goals and notched 37 assists for Liverpool in the top-flight.
Nabil Fekir has impressed in both Spain and France over recent seasons, with England appearing to be his next destination.
The 27-year-old has mainly played as a central attacking midfielder, but can play across the attacking line.
He has long been a target of Arsenal’s and having helped Real Betis to secure European qualification, the Gunners could return to the Frenchman once again.
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