Many soccer followers will likely be stunned to listen to that Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard remains 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 change into the youngest participant to symbolize the Norwegian nationwide crew. He had scored three objectives and offered 5 assists within the Norwegian first division for Stromsgodset in simply sixteen appearances. This led to the teen turning into a family identify as he turned Europe’s most sought-after wonderkid, showing on each huge 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 charge and a younger Odegaard was at his dream membership.
However, it not often is that easy in soccer. Odegaard was in a brand new nation, beneath intense media scrutiny and had the burden of an £80,000-a-week wage at simply 16-years-old.
Actual Madrid will not be a crew well-known for bedding in children, continuously spending eye-watering charges for gamers moderately than creating them. Subsequently, the fact for Odegaard was that if he was not ok to play for the primary crew, he must go elsewhere to get top-flight expertise.
That led to the following 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 indicate in 2018/19 for Vitesse, the place he notched 21 aim contributions and 10 man-of-the-match awards in 35 appearances.
Rune Marthinsen, long-time good friend 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 did not reside as much as such excessive expectations, akin to Bojan Krkic, Ravel Morrison and Hachim Mastour, who all couldn’t take care of the stress positioned upon them of their youth.
Not solely did Odegaard have immense technical potential from a younger age, he was additionally tactically very good. In Might 2022, Jamie Redknapp branded Odegaard as “a manager on the pitch.” This sentiment was echoed by the Norwegian nationwide crew 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 crew a 12 months earlier than Arteta did the identical for Arsenal.
Odegaard has repaid Arteta’s religion together with his performances to this point this season. In 13 appearances, Odegaard is the Gunners’ high scorer with six objectives and is a key think about Arsenal’s stunning brilliance this season, resulting in them sitting high of the Premier League.