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Martin Odegaard: Real Madrid's Long-term Investment

The 20 year old Norwegian is looking to be a real heavyweight in the future when it comes to football. How will Real Madrid develop this player going forward?

SP
Last updated: 24.08.2019
Martin Odegaard: Real Madrid's Long-term Investment | Sports Social Blog

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Developing young talent is crucial for any team and Real Madrid is doing something similar with Martin Odegaard. The Norwegian midfielder has been on the minds of Madridistas for displaying high levels of skill during his days out on loan. The now-20-year-old became the youngest debutant for Real Madrid when he was substituted in for Ronaldo in a 2015 victory against Getafe. For most of his career, especially over the last few years, Odegaard has been on the radar of fans who are excited about Real Madrid’s future. With the right push, he could be phenomenal and extremely beneficial for the club and its patrons.


 

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Moving Around:

 

Real Madrid is one of the most star-studded teams in the world and it has been that way for decades. Madrid has the money and the elite status to rake in some of the biggest players in the world. Cristiano Ronaldo’s run from 2009 to 2018 is proof enough. But as a result of this team that’s built of expensive players from head-to-toe, it becomes a little tricky for youngsters to get their chances and make waves at the club. Sure, there have been few to defy the odds, like Ramos in his early days and Vinicius Jr presently but overall, it’s difficult and requires a bit of luck as well. That’s not to say that Madrid isn’t clever about their young players. As a result, Odegaard was loaned out of the club to SC Heerenveen(Eredivisie) in 2017 and Vitesse in 2018 to help the Norwegian attain some much-needed game time and develop as a player. After spending two full seasons on loan, he has been loaned out again to Real Sociedad in the La Liga. This change in leagues will help Odegaard’s adaptability and there’s also the fact that Sociedad has proven to be a phenomenal place to develop young players, as seen with Odriozola and Mikel Oyarzabal. The move of loaning out is great as it will provide Odegaard with a lot of game time while Real Madrid works on big-picture stuff like the La Liga title and the UCL.

 

 

Skills:

 

Odegaard’s arrival in both the Eredivisie team really helped them. When he arrived, Heerenveen ended up 9th on the table. Next season, with Odegaard playing more matches, they ended up 8th in the Eredivisie. Similarly, Vitesse jumped from 6th to 5th and their GD went from 16 to 19. This certainly points to the Norwegian attacking-midfielder making a difference in those teams. He has a lot of pace and that combination of that with his attack-minded vision helps him utilize small gaps in the defence and dribble and pass accordingly. His dribbling is excellent often helping him charge past players with little resistance. All his skills are tailor-made for attack-intensive teams. His crossing and both his short and long-range passing have been key for the past few teams. Last but not least, his ability to take set pieces has come in handy in the Eredivisie quite a few times. Anyway, you dice it, it’s hard to see any way in which he’ll falter in the future, especially in the attack department.



 

The Numbers:


For Vitesse, he scored 9 goals in 35 matches along with 12 passes in the 2018-19 league. He was among the top in the assists column, second only to Hakim Ziyech and Dusan Tadic of Ajax. He completed 2.9 dribbles per game, averaging 3.5 key passes. Even with Heerenveen, he scored 2 goals and had 2.8 dribbles per game in the season prior. Odegaard also had 2.4 shots per game in his 2018-19 campaign, just showing how attack-minded and confident he is.

 


Current Situation and Moving Forward:

 

Currently, Odegaard has been loaned out again to Real Sociedad. This will help him attain a lot of La Liga experience, given that it looks to be the League he will be bound to for the foreseeable future. It will also enable him to play against Barcelona and Real Madrid both, which will help acquaint himself with not only his own team's playstyle but also that of his rival’s. It’s expected for him to have a great season at La Real and looking at the evidence(that of his playing), it’s likely that he’ll oblige. Also given that Zidane looks to be Real’s manager for a decent amount of time, he could actually have a sizeable amount of game time, after his return to the club, especially if he plays well with Sociedad in the 2019-20 season. This ‘game time’ would not be due to his development but also because of Zidane’s penchant for rotating players, as was the case with Luca Zidane and Brahim Diaz towards the end of last season. Real Madrid also has the choice to loan him out again, if they manage to induct even some more star players in the squad. That would also be another way to develop him further but whether he’ll agree to it again would be a gamble in and of itself.

 

In the end, with Odegaard, the possibilities are endless, making him a rather interesting long-term investment for Real Madrid. It would behoove oneself to keep track of this gem of a player who is sure to make it big in the not-so-distant future. 

 

 

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