Martin Odegaard’s second season on loan at Dutch club Heerenveen has been a success.
The Norwegian starlet was spoken about as the next big thing when he joined Real Madrid in 2015 but the European champions saw fit to send him out on loan to Heerenveen.
The 18-year-old took some time adjusting to the Eredivisie but he’s starting to show why David Nielsen, his manager at Stromsgodset, likened him to David Silva and Lionel Messi.
Odegaard has played in all 11 of Heerenveen’s league matches this season, the latest a 0-0 draw at Sparta Rotterdam on Friday night, and Real Madrid, who are monitoring his progress, have to be pleased with what they’ve seen.
The plan is for Odegaard to return to the Santiago Bernabeu next summer and link up with 17-year-old Brazilian Vinicius Junior, who is due back in Madrid in 2018 following a loan spell with Flamengo.
Odegaard’s contract at Real Madrid demanded that he train with the first team but there will be no need for such clauses should his form continue.
Odegaard produced a brilliant moment v Sparta Rotterdam
The 18-year-old was unable to inspire Heerenveen to victory against Sparta Rotterdam but he did produce a truly special moment that Cristiano Ronaldo himself will have enjoyed.
Attacking down the right side, Odegaard split two defenders with a brilliant chop before sending in a cross.
It was pretty special stuff.
Real Madrid have to be excited about the impending return of a player who former Norway international and Premier League player Morten Gamst Pedersen once described as “unbelievable”.
"For his age he is unbelievable - his knowledge of the game is unbelievable and his technical skills are fantastic,” the former Blackburn Rovers man said about Odegaard when he was 15.
"You have to realise he is only 15-years-old and he needs time to build up his physique but the potential is unbelievable, I have never seen a player with so much potential.
"He is with the under-21s and hopefully he will get a feel for international football there but it is not the last we will see of him, that's for sure."
Norway failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup but his return to Los Blancos means we will still get a really good look at Odegaard next year.