Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard has a few words to say about his former club Real Madrid after he left them for the Gunners.
The Norwegian signed for the Spanish giants in January 2015 at the age of 16 after shining at his boyhood club Strømsgodset and joined up with Madrid’s youth team, finally making his senior debut for the club in May of that year, coming on as a substitute for Cristiano Ronaldo.
However, Odegaard never truly kicked on in Madrid, subsequently being loaned out to Heerenveen, Vitesse and Real Sociedad over the next three seasons.
In 2021 Arsenal paid £31million to sign him permanently for Madrid and has shone for the Gunners, for whom he is now captain and the 24-year has recently taken a little swipe at his former side wondering if he would have been given more time at the club had he not been Norwegian.
Exclusive interview: Martin Odegaard. On the man behind the mask, a decade in adult football, growing as a leader & the moment he knew #AFC could do something "special" this season.
"I want to do everything perfectly. I want to be the best, all the time.”https://t.co/TfQHbDNWT5
— Sam Dean (@SamJDean) February 10, 2023
“The press came after me for not immediately living up to the hype. I was an easy target. I remember reading a headline: ‘NOW IT’S MAKE OR BREAK TIME FOR MARTIN ODEGAARD.’ And I’m like, make or break? I’m 18 years old!
“Maybe If I’d been Spanish, I might have been given a bit more time to grow. Honestly, I don’t know. In the end, it’s just the nature of the hype machine. There is no in-between in modern football.”
Who knows what the future will hold now for Odegaard, but with him now flourishing at the Emirates, you wonder whether or not Los Blancos will regret having let him go so soon.