Arsenal technical director Edu Gaspar has revealed they needed “patience” to secure Martin Ødegaard’s signature, having follow him for years before his eventual arrival.

The Brazilian has been speaking to Marca at the Golden Boy Awards last night, where he was named as ‘the best European manager’ at the ceremony.

He’s been one of the architects of Arsenal’s recent success, returning to the club in 2019 to take up the role as technical director and lead their rebuild.

He’s done that successfully, selling off big name players on big wages in favour of young talent to be developed for the future.

Ødegaard is one such player, first arriving on loan from Real Madrid in January 2021 before that move was made permanent the following August in a €35m deal.

He’s established himself as a key player for Mikel Arteta’s side since, with a tally of 31 goals and 17 assists in 123 games so far, the best numbers he’s managed for any club to date.

Indeed, such is the faith in him that Arteta named him captain in 2022, a role he has flourished in since, further establishing himself as a transfer deal that Edu is delighted Arsenal waited for.

“There are players who work well on one side and poorly on another,” he said.

“It depends on good moments, opportunities… our strategy is and was to sign young players, and he fit. He came on loan and then we decided to buy him.

“We have been following Martin for many years and perhaps we have had the patience that others have not. He is now one of our captains, enjoying himself, and he is one of the recognizable faces of our team.”