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10th Jan 2017

Martin Odegaard has completed an unusual move away from Real Madrid

The wonderkid is off to the Netherlands...

Robert Redmond

Martin Odegaard has left Real Madrid on a long-term loan deal.

Odegaard signed for the Spanish giants from Strømsgodset in native Norway two-years ago. The 18-year-old was scouted by most of Europe’s top clubs, and was considered to have the potential to develop into one the best players in the world.

Odegaard was even compared to Lionel Messi. However, in his two-years at the Bernabeu, the Norwegian midfielder made just two first-team appearances.

With the path to the first-team blocked, the 18-year-old has opted to try his luck elsewhere.

Odegaard has signed for SC Heerenveen on an 18-month loan deal. The Dutch club are currently fourth in the Eredivisie, 14-points behind leaders ‎Feyenoord.

The move is unusual because most loan moves tend to be for a single season or until the end of a season. They rarely last a year and a half.

It is also peculiar because Odegaard will reportedly be a free agent in June 2018, when the loan move ends.

According to Football Leaks, Odegaard signed a three-and-a-half year contract with Madrid in January 2015, worth €80,000-a-week. (He also has a clause that sees him get €50,000 for each first-team appearance).

If Madrid have loaned him out for the remainder of his contract, they have seemingly given up any hope of him developing into a first-team player at the Bernabeu.

However, according to Transfermarkt, the midfielder’s contract with the Spanish club expires in 2021.

Either way, the player faces an uncertain future with one of the world’s biggest clubs. For what it’s worth, he does look like a very good footballer.

Odegaard showed off his talents in his only first-team appearance for Madrid this season. The Norwegian international impressed in the club’s 6-1 victory over Cultural Leonesa in the Copa Del Rey.

However, despite his obvious talent, former Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti claimed that Odegaard’s signing was a mere public relations exercise by the club’s president Florentino Perez.

“When Florentino [Perez] buys a Norwegian footballer, you simply have to accept it,” the Bayern Munich coach writes in his autobiography “Quiet Leadership.”

“Furthermore, the president decided that he would play three games with the first team as a public relations exercise. He could be the best player in the world, but I don’t care because he was not a player who I asked for. That signing was to do with PR”