Martin Odegaard faces crucial choice amid Manchester United links

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Martin Odegaard has received some valuable advice on his future from Norway boss Per-Mathias Hogmo amid transfer speculation that continues to link the talented youngster with the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Barcelona. 

Despite being just 15-years-old, Odegaard has already attracted widespread attention from across the continent thanks to a number of impressive performances for Tippeligaen outfit Strømsgodset and having made his international debut during a friendly fixture against the United Arab Emirates in August.

While Odegaard did not feature for his country during the sparsely-attended friendly against England at Wembley last month, he has been named as part of the senior squad to contest the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Malta.

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Transfer interest

His re-involvement in Hogmo's squad has reignited the wealth of transfer speculation surrounding Odegaard, with the Daily Star - who refer to the player as the 'new Lionel Messi' - reiterating that the Premier League trio of Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool are interested in signing him along with a plethora of Europe's other traditional heavyweights.

However, while Odegaard may already have his eye on a move away from Marienlyst Stadion, Hogmo has provided a warning of the potential pitfalls associated with young players moving on to big clubs slightly too soon.

"He has already made his debut with the national team, but also at club level, he will have to take a step forward," he said in the same Star report.

"Whether he goes to a mid-range club that helps his development, such as Ajax, or he goes directly to an absolute top club. You can see that most players that take the second route don't usually succeed."

Future decision

Ultimately, the decision over Odegaard's future will be made by the player himself. While it is becoming increasingly clear that he has the raw ability to play at a much higher level than can currently be offered in his native Norway, at 15 he is surely too young to be capable of making a real impact at a club competing regularly in the latter stages of the Champions League.

The choice he will eventually have to make, one suspects, is whether the prospect of youth and reserve team football at a bigger club will be more beneficial to his long-term development than a couple more seasons of regular first-team action in his homeland.

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