Martin Odegaard was once hailed as the most promising talent in the world and the next Lionel Messi. However, since his move to Real Madrid, the Norway international has not lived up to his expectations, though he has had some decent displays with the sides that he had been loaned at.
This term the young player has been playing for Real Sociedad, with his loan spell set to end in the summer. However, as Goal reports, the president of the club, in an interview to Radio Euskadi, has stated, “I think Odegaard is going to stay at Real. It is what I believe and the hope we have. When you stay at Real, if you stay, you have to be convinced, like when he came last year. Convinced that it is the best option for next season. The decision is up to him and I think he will stay.”
Should Real Madrid let him stay?
The Madrid based club are not in the best of positions when it comes to the attacking slots of the squad. With a stable midfield trio of Modric, Kroos and Casemiro, Zidane has been unable to find the perfect front three. We can still expect Hazard to operate from the left and Benzema in the centre-forward role. However, the right-hand side of the attacking three has seen multiple names being given a go this season.
While Rodrygo and Vazquez have been filling in for most of the time, others such as Bale and James Rodríguez have also been given a shot in that role. The French manager has been unable to find a consistent performer from the right end of the pitch, and that is where Martin Odegaard could theoretically be given a go.
What does he bring at Real?
For Sociedad, he has been a decent performer this season making 23 appearances, much of which have come from the central attacking midfield position. The La Liga side has preferred to play in a 4-2-3-1 system with the 21-year-old playing as the second striker. However, he is equally effective at the right side of the pitch, and Zidane can use him at either of these places.
If the French legend wants to play with a two striker formation, with Benzema and Jovic at the top, the Norwegian can be asked to operate from the flanks along with Hazard, who is best suited on the left-hand side. However, if the gaffer prefers a 4-2-3-1 tactical setup, then the youngster should be comfortable playing just behind the striker. This tactical versatility makes Odegaard a great addition to the club, and now with La Liga experience under his belt, he should be able to reduce a lot of transfer worries for his side.
The greatest asset of the forward is his incisive passing ability, which has helped him find his teammates effortlessly from the midfield. The other facet of his game is his mindset to get the ball forward each time that he receives it and choose carefully while making the pass. This season he has racked up 2.3 key passes per game and overall has completed 84.7% of his total passes. His dribbling skills are also considered to be of superior quality, and he has achieved 2.4 dribbles per game.
Martin Odegaard can be a utility player for the club as Zidane could use him in a variety of roles throughout the pitch. However, many could still argue that the starlet is a top-quality player for a mid-table club and a side as illustrious as Real Madrid should aim higher and rope in one of the forwards with whom they have been linked.
Stats from Whoscored.