Martin Odegaard could make his long-awaited Real Madrid debut on Wednesday night after being included in the squad to face Almeria.
Odegaard, the highly-rated 16-year-old Norway international, has been included in Ancelotti’s latest squad alongside two other Castilla players, according to Goal.
"Odegaard, Mayoral and [Diego] Llorente are in the squad for the match against Almeria and could play," Ancelotti said at his pre-match press conference. "Two of those three players will make the bench.”
"We have a tough schedule and we have some difficult games coming up,” the Italian coach added. “We are confident we can cope with it, though, because apart from those who are injured, everybody is fresh and feeling well.
"We need the entire team."
Must-win game for Real Madrid
While this match would appear to be the perfect opportunity for Ancelotti to take a look at some of the club’s younger players, there’s no escaping the fact it’s a must-win fixture for Real Madrid, who still have a chance of finishing the season as La Liga champions.
Los Blancos are currently two points behind league-leaders Barcelona with five matches, including their home game against relegation-threatened Almeria, left to play.
Whether Odegaard or either of his fellow selected Castilla teammates will get any minutes on Wednesday night could depend on the scoreline mid-way through the second half.
Odegaard unlikely to start
Despite his immense talent and potential, Odegaard will not start on Wednesday night - unless Ancelotti is ready to take a serious gamble - but could, if Real Madrid have a healthy lead with 15 or 20 minutes left on the clock, come on for his debut in the second half.
The timing of Odegaard’s first call-up is particularly interesting. The young attacking midfielder, who rose to prominence with Stromsgodset before sealing a dream move to the Bernabeu in January, has hit the headlines for the wrong reasons over recent weeks.
Odegaard and his father were angered that a clause in the teenager’s contract was not being adhered to by Real Madrid.
Struggles with Real Madrid Castilla
The clause stipulated that Odegaard could train with Real Madrid’s first team five days a week, but the Spanish giants decided it was in the player’s best interests to spend more time with the Castilla squad.
His performances with the Real Madrid reserve side, coached by Zinedine Zidane, have been a little disappointing - and one explanation for his poor form is his lack of understanding with the Castilla players, whom he has failed to strike a rapport with.
Odegaard, who only turned 16 in December but has already been capped four times by Norway, will be desperate to make his Real Madrid first-team debut this week - while the fans will also be hoping to catch a glimpse of the potential future superstar.
Is Martin Odegaard ready to play a role in the Real Madrid first team? Have your say in the comments below!
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