Martin Ødegaard is perhaps one of the most talented young players worldwide. The then 15-year-old Norwegian arrived in the Spanish capital back in 2015. Following their politics of signing young talents, Real Madrid offered him a big contract to fend off other contenders.
Since he joined the Merengues, Ødegaard only played for their B side at Real Madrid Castilla. He went after that into multiple loan spells in the Eredivisie.
Martin Ødegaard played for both SC Heerenveen and Vitesse Arnhem and ended his course there with high regards. He played a total of 82 games, scoring 14 goals and assisting 17. These statistics made him one of the most prolific youngsters in the Netherlands aged only 19. He also holds to his account 18 National team call-ups, with one goal already to his name.
The Norwegian prodigy started playing as a right-winger, however, as he went on playing for different teams and coaches he is starting to shape up as an offensive midfielder and more of a playmaker.
Ødegaard has proven to be more at ease in a 4-4-3 formation, either playing down the right-wing of as a right-midfielder, allowing him to be more present in the build-ups, and possible counters.
Given how Real Madrid are looking for someone to carry Luka Modric’s torch, it is very likely that they find what they are looking for in their own back yard.
First loan in La Liga with Real Sociedad
After two years in the Netherlands, Martin Ødegaard and Real Madrid had many offers on the table. Ajax Amsterdam wanted to buy off the Norwegian but the Blancos refused to let go of such a tremendous prospect. Two interesting loan offers were possible from Bayern Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt. Both were rejected, to favor a first division experience in Spain for Ødegaard. Real Madrid also renewed his contract up until 2023. Another step that shows how Real might want him back next season. They did the same before with the likes of Lucas Vasquez and Marco Asensio.
Ødegaard ended up joining the Txuri Urdin side this summer under Imanol Alguacil. The 48-year-old Spanish coach has a youth-oriented mentality. He concocted a team made of young talents, with Mikel Oyarzabal (22), Adnan Januzaj (24), Mikel Merino (23), Alexander Isak (19) and completed it with the 20-year-old Ødegaard.
The Basques’ coaching staff was impressed by the maturity and readiness of Ødegaard in Pre-season. Also, he was considered the most physically fit player of the squad.
Alguacil’s side started this La Liga campaign brilliantly, despite playing two games away from Anoeta. Using a classic 4-3-3 formation where Ødegaard figures as a starter and also a playmaker rather than his previous right-wing position. Behind a strong offensive line made of Willian San José, Oyarzabal and Januzaj.
La Real managed to steal a point at Mestalla, one of the toughest stadiums to visit in Spain, against local Valencia. Ødegaard played the full 90 minutes and assured a 90% successful pass rate.
On their second game, Real Sociedad visited the Iberostar Estadi of Mallorca. The San Sebastian side pull off a late win thanks to a goal from the Norwegian star. On a counter-attack starting from goalkeeper Carlos Moya, Ødegaard with his exquisite left-foot handed off a pass to the very fast Portu, whom after dribbling past his defender, gave it back to Ødegaard.
The Real Madrid loanee, magnificently put it at the back of the net, after a delightful oriented control. With his first goal in La Liga, Martin Ødegaard ended a 16 years curse, leading his team to win in Mallorca for the first time since 2003.
With his work ethic, maturity and immeasurable talent, Martin Ødegaard’s future seems very bright. The youngster’s aim is still to triumph at Real Madrid as he said in his post-game presser. It’s a sure thing that eyes are on him from the Spain capital. Ødegaard might even get to play at the Bernabeu against his team, as Real Madrid removed for the first time what was called ‘the clause of fear’. A clause that didn’t allow its on loan players to play against them.
Next weekend, La Real Sociedad and Martin will have a tough challenge ahead. They will travel to San Mames, to face off arch-rivals Atheltic Bilbao in the Basque derby.