Friday, April 20, 2018

Martin Odegaard loan move well overdue

Martin Odegaard seals a loan move to Heerenveen / Image via

End of Frustration

Dutch side SC Heerenveen have confirmed the signing of Real Madrid talent Martin Odegaard who comes on loan until the end of the season.

The teenage midfielder, once touted as the hottest prospect in world football, is ending a frustrating spell with Los Blancos with hopes to make progress towards fulfilling his glorious potential.

The youngest-ever player to play for Real Madrid at the age of 16 years and 157 days has failed to hold down a regular spot under Zinedine Zidane and a move away from Los Blancos is widely regarded as a well-thought choice – and an overdue one as well – which could help youngster develop into a quality footballer.

Odegaard first hit the big stage when his prodigious talents saw him being compared to the likes of Leo Messi, but the Norwegian youngster seemingly cracked under pressure which ultimately left him lingering in the shades of Real Madrid’s Castilla.

Wrong Choices

Just imagine being a young boy kicking the ball around with your peers away from everybody’s sight up there in Norway, when all of the sudden the whole world starts staring at you.

I could not have been easy for the lad back in 2015 and no one should blame him for caving in under pressure.

What Martin Odegaard can be criticized of are his choices however. Having been courted by several Europe’s top sides such as Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Ajax and Barcelona, Odegaard ultimately decided to end his European tour of trainings and auditions by accepting Real Madrid’s offer.

The smell of money, glamour and allure of the great club won over what would have been better-suited environments for a young player. Odegaard would have been better off had he signed for the likes of Ajax or Liverpool for instance as he would most definitely have been given more first-team opportunities and greater chance to make it on the brightest stage.

He decided to skip a few steps and make a shortcut to his road to prominence, which in the end backfired dramatically.

Will he ever make it at Real Madrid?

Not to be overly critical of the boy, I need to highlight Odegaard’s mental strength which finally kicked in after months of struggle.

The Norway wunderkind did not have the best of receptions at Castilla, where he arrived as the highest-paid teenaged in the world. Other Castilla students surely frowned upon his frequent training trips with Real Madrid’s first-team, which in the end must have left Odegaard feeling in between both camps without feeling like he truly belonged to either one of them.

Odegaard manage to recover however and display great worth when Zinedine Zidane ultimately decided to pick him for the first-team.

It’s been two years now since he signed for Real Madrid however and one needs to ask a question whether Martin Odegaard will ever be given a break with Los Blancos and – more importantly – whether the boy really is a Real Madrid material.

It happens too often that talented kids and hot prospects end up well below the radar as they allow their talents to get the best of them much to the detriment of their football careers. It will not hopefully happen to Odegaard as well.

Odegaard has enough time to prove his worth

The Norway talent has been around for a while now and many tend to forget that we are still talking of a delicate 18-year-old who has all the time in the world in front of him.

He undeniably lost two years that could have been invested much wiser into his football development, but all the kickarounds with the likes of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Cristiano Ronaldo will have hopefully rubbed off on Odegaard.

He will hope to take all of his knowledge and put it to greater use in the Eredivisie, which is considered a perfect breeding ground for the players and a springboard for many who went on to make great careers in football.

Ronaldo Luis Nazario da Lima and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are definitely the most glorious names to ever grace a Dutch football league.

Perhaps Odegaard could come close to going down their path?

Only time will tell.


Milos Markovic

Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently and His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.



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