What happened to four players who left Real Madrid for Arsenal amid Martin Odegaard chase

Arsenal: Arteta believes he will have ‘happier squad’

Arsenal are reportedly close to signing Martin Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid, with the attacking midfielder is set to become the fifth player to swap the Bernabeu for the Emirates. Here, Express Sport takes a look at what happened to the other four.

Davor Suker

Davor Suker was one of the world’s top strikers when he joined Arsenal from Real Madrid for £4.9million in 1999.

The Croatian star had helped fire Los Blancos to La Liga glory in the 1996/7 season, followed by a Champions League triumph the following campaign.

But the greatest achievement of his career came later that summer, when he won the Golden Boot at the 1998 World Cup in France.

Suker scored six goals in seven games at the tournament before Croatia’s run was ended in the semi-finals by eventual champions France.

The following summer he joined Arsenal after firing 49 goals in 111 games for Madrid.

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Suker spent just one season with the Gunners, scoring 11 goals in 38 appearances. He came on as a substitute in the 2000 UEFA Cup final, but missed his spot-kick as Arsenal lost Galatasaray on penalties.

After an unsuccessful season at West Ham, Suker joined 1860 Munich before retiring 2003.

Julio Baptista

Julio Baptista joined Arsenal on loan from Madrid for the 2006/7 season, with Jose Antonio Reyes going the other way.

The attacking midfielder scored just three goals in 24 appearances in the Premier League – but found his scoring touch in victories over Liverpool and Tottenham in the League Cup.

After bagging a club-record four goals in a 6-3 quarter-final win over the Reds, Baptista fired a double against Spurs in the semis before the Gunners lost to Chelsea in the final.

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After returning to Madrid the following season he came a La Liga winner, and scored the only goal as Los Blancos beat Barcelona at the Nou Camp for only the second time in 24 years.

He went on to play for Roma, Malaga, Cruzeiro in his native Brazil, Orlando City and Cluj in Romania.

Mesut Ozil

When Mesut Ozil joined Arsenal for £42.5million in 2013, the news didn’t go down well with Madrid fans or players.

The German international had helped Los Blancos win the La Liga title and had led the league’s assists charts for three successive seasons.

Ozil was a key player as Arsene Wenger’s side won three FA Cups, ending a nine-year trophy drought, and he continued to rack up the assists – equalling Thierry Henry’s Premier League record of 20 during the 2015/16 season.

Due to a combination of injuries and loss of form, Ozil’s role in the side began to wane under Wenger’s successor Unai Emery.

This continued under current boss Mikel Arteta, with Ozil frozen out completely from March last year. The club this month agreed to terminate the 32-year-old’s contract so he could join boyhood club Fenerbahce on a free transfer.

Dani Ceballos

After arriving on loan in the summer of 2019, Ceballos initially impressed, setting up two goals in a man-of-the-match performance in a win over Burnley.

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But following a good start he missed a long spell with a muscle injury. Once fit again he had to impress a new manager, with Arteta having taking charge following the sacking of Emery.

Ceballos eventually worked his way back into the team and put in some impressive performances during football’s restart last summer.

He returned to Arsenal on loan this summer, although his performances this season have been mixed and his long-term place in the team is now under threat following the arrival of Thomas Partey.

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