After months of speculation, Europe’s latest wonderkid Martin Odegaard has signed for Champions League holders Real Madrid.
After being courted by up to 30 of the top European clubs including Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal, Liverpool and both Manchester clubs, it is the Bernabeu club who have snatched up the starlet.
It is reported that Odegaard will earn up to £80,000 a week, a figure which has outraged many fans of the global sport.
Real Madrid are arguably the biggest football club on the planet. They were named ”the richest club in the world” this week and boast a host of football’s greatest stars.
One would have to question the reasoning behind Odegaard’s move. The three times capped Norwegian international had been devoloping steadily with his former club, Stromsgodset in Norway and many believe that his development may now be stunted in Spain’s capital city.
It is obvious that he is a player of real quality and a move away from Norway was imminent. However, the choice of club he eventually settled upon is questionable.
Obviously, he has set his ambitions high but realistically we won’t see him in action at the Bernabeu regularly, anytime soon. The likelihood of the matter is that he will place his football with Real Madrid’s second string side under the watchful eye of coach Zinedine Zidane.
Real Madrid’s second string side is clearly a place where one can learn a lot. However, the percentage of young talents who have made the step up from Castilla to the first team is very low, with Jese Rodriguez being the only notable recent addition to the first team set-up
With Castilla, there’s no experience of European football or the challenge of coming up against the top players in La Liga.
Perhaps a move to a club like Ajax may have been a more suitable option for now.
Michael Laudrup, a former Ajax star and Danish legend weighed in on the debate when quoted by goal.com,
“I’m not entirely convinced that joining a club like Madrid is the right move. He is 16 years old. I cannot imagine seeing him playing right now for Real Madrid or Bayern Munich. If he were my son, I would advise him to go to Holland.”
Real Madrid may have made a mistake by handing him such a lucrative contract at such a young age. Odegaard’s desire to improve and motivation may come in to question very soon. On top of that, we must remember he is only 16 years of age. There is plenty of time for his peers to develop and possibly surpass him.
However, it may all work out for him. The man who is touted as the next Lionel Messi may go on to become an all-time great. Time will tell.
Seán Ó Murchú, Pundit Arena