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Gunners splash out as pair sign

Playmaker Odegaard and goalkeeper Ramsdale are latest arrivals at the Emirates

20 August, 2021 — By Steve Barnett

ARSENAL are set to become the Premier League’s biggest spenders this summer after adding two more new signings to their squad.

As we went to press last night (Thursday), the Gunners were on the cusp of confirming deals for Real Madrid playmaker Martin Odegaard and Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

Odegaard was Mikel Arteta’s top target in this transfer window, and will set Arsenal back an initial fee of £30million plus bonuses of around £4m.

The 22-year-old has completed his medical and agreed personal terms. But hopes that Odegaard would be available to face Chelsea at the Emirates this Sunday were dashed as it will still take a few days to complete his visa application.

Despite the slight delay to his second Arsenal debut, Arteta will be delighted to finally sign Odegaard on a permanent deal. During a six-month loan spell last season the player quickly became a fans’ favourite – the two goals and two assists he notched up in 20 appearances not doing justice to the influence he had on the Gunners’ attack.

Ramsdale, meanwhile, is expected to be in the squad to face the Blues with Arsenal hurrying through the paperwork before today’s (Friday) Premier League deadline.

The England shot-stopper arrives in north London with a £24m price-tag – a fee that could reportedly rise by a further £6m in add-ons if Ramsdale goes on to become the Gunners’ long-term number one.

Having already spent £50m bringing in defender Ben White from Brighton, £17m on Anderlecht midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga and around £7m on full-back Nuno Tavares from Benfica, Arsenal’s overall outlay this summer will be just shy of £130m.

But the cash hasn’t been flowing in just one direction, with the Gunners recouping around £25m through the sale of Joe Willock to Newcastle. They will also make a reported £10m from Amazon’s documentary All or Nothing, taking fans behind closed doors at the Emirates Stadium.

And the spending might not be finished yet. The Arsenal boss now has the goalkeeper and creative midfielder he so desperately wanted.

But could a new right-back, a holding midfielder or even a striker still be on the cards before the transfer window closes on August 31?

• Fans who thought Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat at Brentford was hard to take might not want to check how the club’s Under-23s got on in their season opener. They were whacked 6-1 by West Ham on Monday at the London Stadium in Premier League 2 Division 1.

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