Martin Odegaard has responded after receiving criticism for Vitesse performances

It was back in 2015 that Real Madrid signed a highly-rated 16-year-old by the name of Martin Odegaard.

The signing attracted a great deal of attention. Los Blancos had beaten a number of clubs, including Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Manchester United, to his signature.

Yet it was later branded a ‘PR exercise’ by Carlo Ancelotti, and the Norwegian playmaker rarely saw much action in the first team.

Odegaard made his debut against Getafe on the final day of the 2015-16 season but had to wait another 679 days for his next senior appearance.

Eventually the decision was made to send the youngster out on loan. He’s spent time in the Netherlands, first with Heerenveen and now with Vitesse.

Now 19, Odegaard has been pretty inconsistent this season but he impressed in a 4-0 win against Heracles last month.

And he scored this rocket against the same opponent in the KNVB Cup on Wednesday.

Odegaard responds to criticism

Still, Odegaard has has received criticism for his performances from local pundits.

He’s since responded to the negativity and he has to be praised for showing great maturity.

Speaking to De Gelderlander, the teenager admitted that the expectation coming from Real Madrid was always going to be huge.

“So far I’ve experienced a struggle at Vitesse,” Odegaard said. “But I also had a reason.

“I only joined the club late at the end of August, I stepped in without a rhythm, and in Real Madrid’s preseason I hardly had any playing time, but Real’s stamp is always there.

“If you are from Real, the expectation is enormous. Then goals are expected everywhere.

“I’m still a teenager, had I made my debut in the Norwegian competition, I would still have been a young talent, I’ve been known for a long time.

“I was sixteen years old when I went to Real. I have been labelled with this label.

“But I do not walk through everything. I still have to reach my best years. I need time.”

It’s easy to forget just how young Odegaard is. It seems like he’s been around forever.

So it’s too early to write him off just yet.

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