Nearly three years ago, there was a considerable amount of hype surrounding Martin Odegaard; a boy who was deemed to be European football’s golden prospect.

Several big clubs around the continent were in pursuit of the youngster and it was difficult to not jump on the bandwagon of calling for your favourite team to secure his services.

Real Madrid eventually won the battle for Odegaard’s signature and despite the Spanish giants’ relatively untidy track record of grooming youngsters, it was a move which many fans of the teenager backed.

But following two years of life at Madrid, there is a new uncertainty about whether Odegaard’s decision to pick the La Liga side over other suitors was the right one.

The level of progression we expected from the boy by this stage is not showing and that is somewhat concerning in this generation of football where players are given a lesser amount of time to deliver the goods regardless of how old they are.

If Norway had managed to qualify for last summer’s European Championships, the teenager would have received a great platform to show off his potential even if Zinedine Zidane was unwilling to hand him a chance on the big stage just yet.

Instead, Odegaard is still mingling with the reserves at Madrid while having to overcome the daunting prospect of matching the standards of players like Cristiano Ronaldo, James Rodriguez, Isco and Gareth Bale in order to earn the faith of the Santiago Bernabeu crowd.

And even if Odegaard tried to test his versatility by switching to a central midfield role, there would still be the likes of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic to contend with.

Sure, the Norwegian is still very much an embryonic talent and he deserves patience to grow into the star many have predicted him to become, but he needs to start edging closer to a breakthrough because 18 is hardly an unprecedented age for stardom.

After all, at 18, Michael Owen was scoring more than 20 goals in a season for Liverpool and shining for England while Wayne Rooney’s exploits were similar at that age after his switch from Everton to Manchester United.

In fact, Rooney’s rise can be used as a valuable lesson for Odegaard in picking the right club at the right time to set the tone for your development as a young footballer.

Had Rooney moved from Everton to Real Madrid in 2003 when there were stars like Raul, Luis Figo, Ronaldo and David Beckham to blur out his promising cameos, he would have never turned out to be the accomplished striker he became.

The situation could soon change for Odegaard, but as it stands, the boy might just have picked the wrong club to be nurtured at.

Samuel SchubertPost
Nearly three years ago, there was a considerable amount of hype surrounding Martin Odegaard; a boy who was deemed to be European football's golden prospect. Several big clubs around the continent were in pursuit of the youngster and it was difficult to not jump on the bandwagon of calling for your favourite...