Many soccer followers will probably be stunned to listen to that Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard continues to be solely 23 years previous given the twists and turns which have already occurred in his eight years taking part in skilled soccer.
In 2014, 15-year-old Odegaard was thrust into the limelight, having grow to be the youngest participant to signify the Norwegian nationwide staff. He had scored three objectives and offered 5 assists within the Norwegian first division for Stromsgodset in simply sixteen appearances. This led to the teenager turning into a family identify as he grew to become Europe’s most sought-after wonderkid, showing on each large membership’s radar.
Actual Madrid would win the race to signal the longer term star in January 2015 for a reported €4million. Odegaard stated “it’s a dream come true,” and that it was “a bit unreal that (he was) at the biggest club in the world”, while his father would additionally get a job teaching within the youth setup.
It appeared like a win-win for each events. Actual Madrid had signed a future Galactico for a comparatively low price and a younger Odegaard was at his dream membership.
However, it not often is that straightforward in soccer. Odegaard was in a brand new nation, below intense media scrutiny and had the load of an £80,000-a-week wage at simply 16-years-old.
Actual Madrid isn’t a staff well-known for bedding in kids, ceaselessly spending eye-watering charges for gamers reasonably than growing them. Due to this fact, the fact for Odegaard was that if he was not adequate to play for the primary staff, he must go elsewhere to get top-flight expertise.
That led to the subsequent six years, the place Odegaard was caught within the Actual Madrid reserves and mortgage system, spending time within the Eredivisie with Heerenveen and Vitesse Arnhem, La Liga with Actual Sociedad after which within the Premier League with Arsenal.
Odegaard was largely unremarkable in his two years for Heerenveen, netting simply three objectives and offering 4 assists. However, the primary glimpses of Odegaard’s star potential began to point out in 2018/19 for Vitesse, the place he notched 21 objective contributions and 10 man-of-the-match awards in 35 appearances.
Rune Marthinsen, long-time buddy of the Odegaard household, stated “it was a big mistake at Real Madrid” however that “it says something about his character and personality he was able to rise up again after he took a step back in Madrid.”
These psychological attributes have been what separated Odegaard from different previous wonderkids who didn’t reside as much as such excessive expectations, akin to Bojan Krkic, Ravel Morrison and Hachim Mastour, who all couldn’t cope with the strain positioned upon them of their youth.
Not solely did Odegaard have immense technical potential from a younger age, he was additionally tactically very sensible. In Could 2022, Jamie Redknapp branded Odegaard as “a manager on the pitch.” This sentiment was echoed by the Norwegian nationwide staff supervisor, Ståle Solbakken, who stated: “He knows what is best for the team and he can bring the messages, tactics and ideas of the coach onto the field”.
Solbakken made Odegaard the captain of the nationwide staff a yr earlier than Arteta did the identical for Arsenal.
Odegaard has repaid Arteta’s religion along with his performances to date this season. In 13 appearances, Odegaard is the Gunners’ prime scorer with six objectives and is a key consider Arsenal’s stunning brilliance this season, resulting in them sitting prime of the Premier League.