Real Madrid waiting for Odegaard to explode onto the scene
This time last year, Martin Odegaard was already taking LaLiga Santander by storm during a loan spell at Real Sociedad. After eight games, the Real Madrid loanee was one of the league’s surprise packages, scoring two goals and assisting another three.
Real Madrid were rubbing their hands together. Odegaard had already spent two seasons out on loan, but those at Valdebebas could now see it as possible to plan for life with the Norwegian included within their ranks.
At long last it seemed like the young attacking midfielder was about to explode onto the scene, just when people at Real Madrid were losing hope. In fact, Los Blancos had given the player an ultimatum that if he didn’t succeed on loan, the club were going to offload him on a permanent basis.
Instead, Odegaard has been put at the forefront of Real Madrid’s revolution and is one of the standout talents from an exciting generation of youngsters that included the likes of Achraf Hakimi, Dani Ceballos, Sergio Reguilon and Take Kubo, all of whom are now not at the club, although Kubo and Ceballos are just on loan at Villarreal and Arsenal respectively.
Odegaard is now awaiting Zidane’s orders, with the coach needing the playmaker to rediscover the form that inspired a hugely successful loan at Real Sociedad, particularly in the first half of the season.
He still hasn’t featured heavily for Real Madrid this season as he has had to be patient after a couple of months on the sidelines due to a knee injury, as well as a false positive test for coronavirus.
Odegaard only managed 69 minutes against Real Sociedad, 45 against Real Betis and one minute against Levante. The only centre midfielder he is ahead of is Isco, with Luka Modric, Fede Valverde, Casemiro and Toni Kroos all playing more.
It was assumed that the Norwegian would take over Modric this season and there would be a generational change, but the Croat has silenced all of his critics by being the fittest midfielder for Zidane, having started three out of the four games that Real Madrid have played.
Odegaard will be looking to change that upon his return to Madrid from his international commitments. The youngster shone in Norway’s win against Romania, with two assists for Erling Haaland.
Everyone at Real Madrid is hoping that Odegaard will be able to make the step up this season as no new signings and an injury-plagued Eden Hazard leave Los Blancos craving a new star within their ranks.
“I have always had the goal and the dream of playing for Real Madrid. I can play in several different roles; in the centre of the park, as a No.10, and I can also play in different systems,” Odegaard said recently. “I will play wherever Zidane wants me to play. If I get the opportunity, I don’t mind where it is on the pitch.”