Sky Sports’ Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has tried to explain Martin Odegaard’s current worrying situation at Real Madrid.
The 16-year-old sealed a move to the Santiago Bernabeu in January for a fee around €4m, signing a contract reported to be worth an astonishing £40,000 per-week, and the youngster has spent his time training with the Real first-team, but playing for Zinedine Zidane’s Castilla side.
However, all is not going as hoped for Odegaard; his form has dipped, and his Castilla team-mates, as well as coach Zidane, are reportedly unhappy with his behaviour.
Martin Odegaard’s Real Madrid nightmare continues as youngster is subbed during reserve team clash
Wonderkid Martin Odegaard slammed by Real Madrid teammates
(Video) Real Madrid’s teen sensation Martin Odegaard shows off his fancy footwork
The main issue seems to a clause in his contract – according to Spanish newspaper AS, written into the teenager’s contract is a clause that ensures he will train with the senior squad five times a week. But this has left him distanced from the reserves, with many of his team-mates believing he’s only interested in himself, and playing alongside superstars such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
The Norwegian suffered his lowest point at the club when he was substituted by Zidane at the weekend, and the team benefitted, according to Marca, as they went on to equalise after he was taken off.
With such apparent disruption to his promising career with the La Liga giants, Guillem Balague has shed light on what he thinks is going wrong.
“(with Real Madrid) he had the opportunity to train with some of the best coaches and players in the world, despite the fact Lionel Messi is his favourite player of all time”, as quoted by Sky Sports.
“So he went to Madrid and the idea was, as it says in his contract, he would train with the first team but play with the B team (Castilla) under Zidane,” he explained.
“That’s all well and good on paper but it’s not working in practice. He enjoys training during the week (with the first team) but then he goes with Castilla and he doesn’t feel part of the whole structure of the team – and his team-mates aren’t particularly helping.
“So there is something going on there. He’s been asked three times if he wouldn’t mind coming to train more with Castilla, but he believes he’d learn more with the first team,” the Revista de la Liga pundit added.
“His contract (where he can dictate his own terms of training) is not odd if you think of the business plan of Real Madrid – a club that is always looking for galacticos. He was THE galactico at 16.”