On loan Real Madrid starlet Martin Odegaard heads into vital season with Heerenveen to prevent a promising career from stalling.

  • By Mark Neale
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Martin Odegaard is a player that carries the expectations of Norwegian football on his young creative shoulders, a record breaker at both domestic and International level for youngest ever appearances. He made his league debut for Strømsgodset in a match against Aalesunds FK at Marienlyst Stadion on 13 April 2014 aged 15 years and 118 days, 135 days later the creative midfielder made his senior international debut.

After training with teams such as Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Manchester City eventually the lure of Real Madrid proved too good to resist. A solitary first team appearance and an unable to gel with either the first or reserve team an 18 month loan move to Heerenveen materialised.

Gently introduced to the first team Heerenveen failed to win any of the first five matches Odegaard started and in fact scored just a single goal in that period but soon, things began to turn. He produced an assist in the win over Roda JC, then another a week later against Go Ahead Eagles that was as good as it got and with just late cameo appearances rounding out the season.

Style of play

Technically gifted and creative this is both a gift and a curse for the youngster; often sacrificed for team balance the midfielder can win a game by himself but defensively offers very little. Constantly searching for space, playing in between the lines, circulating possession under pressure and creating chances at time he is a joy to watch. Odegaard has a lot to offer offensively and needs a midfield built to allow him to play free from defensive duties.

 What to expect from Martin Odegaard this season

This is a big season in what has been an already heavily scrutinised career, if coach Jurgen Streppel wants the best for this young playmaker then a midfield has to designed with his best intentions at heart. Odegaard is more than just potential; he has proved he is good enough but needs a team built for him. Given that you can expect sublime passes, moments that will take your breath away as a gifted footballer ply’s his trade.

Mark Neale (32 Posts)