Martin Odegaard's decision to go to Real Madrid perhaps was motivated by fairy-tale more than common sense. A young footballer, with barely any first team football under his belt, more than anything needs competitive match experience to improve, no matter how naturally talented they are.
I think few people would doubt his natural talent, but his lack of game time at Madrid hints that mentally and physically he far from being developed enough for him to challenge for a starting berth at Madrid.
With the wealth of midfield talent in the Madrid squad, realistically he will not be challenging for the first team for many years to come. Though he was on the bench tonight for the first team, he didn't play and he is far from even being a sporadic substitute, let alone playing in the first team.
Though he has the benefit of training with top class players every day, this is no substitute for competitive first team action, and he could have had this far quicker, if not almost immediately, at many of the clubs chasing his a few months ago.
A move to Liverpool, or Dortmund perhaps, both clubs with registered interest, would have allowed him to still move to a big club, but actually have a realistic chance of playing in the first team in the foreseeable future.
Why Real Madrid?
He would have only been one or two injuries away from a big chance and perhaps a run in the first time, while at Madrid he has a litany of world class players ahead of him in the pecking order.
He must have been well aware of this before the move, and this makes me question his motivations.
The best, most ambitious young players should want above all else to move to a club where they are guaranteed first team opportunities, and the fact that he has played all his football with year with Real Madrid's B team says that this was never offered to him.
I would wager that the main reasons for signing were Real's fame, and the obscene amount of money being offered to such a young man.
I am sure that he will soon be loaned out, and though this also will allow his development to continue, I always find it difficult to understand player's motivations behind wanting to sign for a big team, and then letting themselves get farmed out to various feeder clubs to gain experience.
Right club at the wrong time?
Surely it's more logical, particularly when so young, to move to a new club and give yourself time to settle down in the area, and get to know your new club, while also having the chance to challenge for first team football, which would have been very possible at most of the clubs chasing him before he signed for Madrid.
This would have made him more comfortable in his personal life, which would have translated onto the pitch in time to come. But instead he now faces the prospect of two or three years of loans to different parts of Europe, without being able to get to know a single team or coaching staff, and risking not being able to settle down in each of the new teams he will be forced to play in.
Though i'm sure his undoubted talent will shine through eventually, I believe he made a mistake signing for such a big club as Madrid so early in his career.
The reasons for his signing I can only guess at (though finance and fame certainly must have been major factors), but I believe he too a big risk moving to Madrid so young, though I hope for his sake he proves me wrong.