He was tipped as one of the most promising young players in recent times.
Martin Odegaard was just 16 years of age when he was signed by Real Madrid for a fee of around £2.5m, and despite the fact it feels as if he’s been on the footballing scene for quite some time now, he doesn’t actually turn 19 until December.
He made his debut for Real Madrid on the final day of the 2014/15 season, where he came on as a second-half substitute to replace none other than the club’s record goalscorer and the Ballon d’Or holder at the time Cristiano Ronaldo, no pressure.
Despite the fact that the manager at the time Carlo Ancelotti described the substitution as nothing more than a “PR exercise”, it was a remarkable achievement for the 16-year-old.
However despite making his debut for the side, Ancelotti, Rafael Benitez and then Zinedine Zidane all felt that Odegaard wasn’t ready for first-team football at the Bernabeu just yet. Zidane decided to loan the Norwegian international to Dutch side Heerenveen for 18 months in January.
So after being labeled as the hottest youngster in world football three years ago, exactly how good is Odegaard currently? Video highlights have emerged on Twitter showing Odegaard in action against Excelsior on Saturday.
As you can tell from the highlights, Odegaard seems to be adjusting to senior football nicely. He looks faster, stronger and more confident than we’ve seen him, with his range of passing standing out as a major strength of the 18-year-old.
If he continues to play at this kind of level, Zidane will surely be tempted to include Odegaard in his plans for the 2018-19 campaign.