How loan deals helped Martin Odegaard achieve his rich potential
In 2014 at the tender age of just 16 Martin Odegaard was arguably the hottest prospect in world football.
After breaking in to the first team of Stromsgodset at 15, he would make 25 appearances in Norway's top division scoring five goals in the process and attracting the attention of some of the biggest clubs around the world.
He was a full international footballer before he turned 16 and it appeared that he was destined to be one of the great players of the modern game.
After visiting both Manchester clubs, Liverpool and Bayern Munich, Odegaard made the decision to join the most successful club in the history of European football, signing for Real Madrid in January 2015 for a reported fee of four million euros.
Surely a career at the very top of the Spanish game now beckoned.
Unfortunately it didn't turn out quite that way. The step up at Madrid was far bigger than he had been used to, though it was understandable that a player so young would struggle with the demands of the biggest club in the world.
Despite becoming the youngest debutant in the history of Real Madrid, he would spend much of the next two seasons playing for the club's second team Real Madrid Castilla. He would play 62 times over the course of the next two years, scoring five goals. There were some impressive moments but also periods of poor form, and after two years in Spain it was decided that he Odegaard should seek out first team football with a series of loan spells, designed to get him the experience he needed to ensure he would one day progress to the first team of Real Madrid.
Well those loan spells have paid dividends and this week Odegaard, now enjoying an impressive loan spell at Real Sociedad, scored against his parent club as they knocked Madrid out of the Copa Del Rey in stunning fashion.
In this article we look back at those loan spells that have established Odegaard as one of the best young players in world football once more.