Martin Odegaard Impresses At Heerenveen With Eye On Finishing Job At Real Madrid
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Martin Odegaard made his debut for Heerenveen on January 14 by coming on as a last-minute substitute in his side’s 2-0 victory over ADO Den Haag. On Sunday, he was given an extended runout against PSV Eindhoven in a match featuring two clubs near the top of the Dutch Eredivisie.
Odegaard spent two years with Real Madrid before the club decided to loan him to Heerenveen on January 10 in an 18-month deal. The 18-year-old from Norway had impressed for Real Madrid Castilla (their reserve team), but his appearances for the senior side were limited 32 minutes in La Liga and an impressive outing in this year’s Copa del Rey fixture against Cultural Leonesa.
While Odegaard will continue his development with Hereveen until the end of the 2018 season, he says “My time at Real is not over yet. I am looking forward to Madrid and I have a job to finish there. Zidane wished me the best of luck and told me that I should just continue on my path at Heerenveen.”
Breaking into the lineup of the current FIFA club world champions is as tough as it gets, so absolutely no one should consider Odegaard a bust. He’s 18 and watching him get his first significant playing time with Heerenveen quickly revealed his talents.
Martin Ødegaard's game by numbers vs. PSV:32 minutes played
100% take-ons completed
2 chances created
Lively off the bench. pic.twitter.com/yen6GufnIa
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 22, 2017
In 33 minutes of action, Odegaard doesn’t make a difference to the scoreline, but he’s clearly a player who’s a step ahead of the rest when it comes to touch, vision and quality.
When he’s on the ball, he plays at his own pace and routinely causes problems for the defense. Eindhoven, third in the Eredivisie, are no slouches either. He might never make it Real, but then neither did Samuel Eto’o, Esteban Cambiasso and Juan Mata.