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Martin Odegaard: Madrid's superstar in the making

Martin Odegaard impressed at Real Sociedad last season.
Martin Odegaard impressed at Real Sociedad last season.
Modified 04 Sep 2020, 16:27 IST

Real Madrid have a reputation for spending big. They have broken the world transfer record 5 times in the 21st century. The Spanish giants have also spent over 50 million euros on 18-year-old players on multiple occasions. However, Martin Odegaard, one of their most promising prospects arrived at the club for just under 3 million euros.

Martin Odegaard was signed by Real Madrid a month after he turned 16 years old. He was widely regarded as one of the best prospects in world football, but after 2 years in the B team and an unsuccessful loan spell at Heerenveen, people started questioning his mentality.

In the 18/19 season, Martin Odegaard moved to Vitesse and put in some excellent displays. However, it was only after the 19/20 season, which he spent on loan with Real Sociedad, that people started to recognize his true potential.

He has now been touted to slot into Real Madrid’s first team and be a regular in the future. But what makes Martin Odegaard so special?

Creativity and vision

Odegaard's is an excellent passer of the ball.

One of Martin Odegaard’s finest qualities is his ability to anticipate the likelihood of a successful pass. While he does play incisive through balls on occasion, Odegaard is also able to recognize when a long pass is not on and choose alternatives. This is reflected in his passing accuracy. The Norwegian played an average of 7.97 long passes with an impressive 61% accuracy last season in the La Liga.

Martin Odegaard made 10 goal contributions in the league last season with 4 goals and 6 assists. While his overall attacking output may not be very impressive, Odegaard performed 4.13 shot-creating actions and 0.53 goal creating actions in La Liga. Additionally, Odegaard took 1.6 shots and made 2.0 key passes per game.


Technical prowess and movement

Odegaard was a part of an exciting young Sociedad attack.
Odegaard was a part of an exciting young Sociedad attack.

Martin Odegaard’s technical proficiency is obvious to anyone who watches him play. He is comfortable on the ball and his playing style is easy on the eye.

Aside from his ability with the ball, Odegaard is also an extremely intelligent player off the ball. His movement and positioning was crucial to Real Sociedad’s success last season. Although he started his career playing on the right-wing, he was deployed in a more central position at San Sebastian.

Odegaard played on the right side of a midfield three most often, with Mikel Merino on the left and Asier Illaramendi at the base. From that position, he frequently moved into the inside right channel. In fact, he did the same even when he was used as a secondary striker on occasion.

Martin Odegaard’s smart movement allows him to engineer space in tight areas and enables his teammates to shift into scoring positions.

In conclusion, Odegaard is an extremely intelligent and gifted player. He is currently valued at 45 million euros by transfermarkt, but it is unlikely that Madrid will let him go. After performing admirably in Real Sociedad’s exciting young attack, the 20/21 season will provide the perfect opportunity for him to break into Madrid’s first team.

Published 04 Sep 2020, 16:27 IST
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