REAL MADRID

The reasons why Ødegaard wants to leave Real Madrid

Madrid changed the plan for the midfielder to spend two seasons at Real Sociedad to give him a more prominent role which so far, hasn't materialised under Zidane.

Madrid
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Martin Ødegaard wants to go out on loan again. It's not a decision he has taken in haste, but one he has spent several weeks thinking through carefully. He is only 22, and he is also level-headed enough not to make rash choices purely on impulse. He is clear that what he is going though this season at Real Madrid is very different from what was promised last summer.

Playing time

In terms of how much playing time each member of the Madrid squad have enjoyed, he is 19th in the ranking with a total of 367 minutes. While some of that has been down to the physical problems he has suffered, it seems that there was some kind of breakdown between him and Zidane after the second Champions League defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk on 1 December. He fell injured once again after that defeat, but once recovered, he was available for six games…in which he played just five minutes. Some of those games would have been perfect for a player with his characteristics (Osasuna, Elche…) but he didn't even warm up.

Change of plans

Not getting enough playing time is obviously the final straw although more than anything, Ødegaard fels as though he has been deceived. He understands perfectly well how difficult it is to win and hold down a regular place at Real Madrid, he knows all about the demands and accepts them. For precisely those reasons, he accepted a two-year loan move to Real Sociedad. He enjoyed a brilliant first season in San Sebastián and the idea was for him to continue developing in his second year. But it was Zidane who requested his return last summer to strengthen the midfield. The Norwegian accepted because he was promised an important role within the squad. His dream of triumphing with Madrid was at last coming true.

Maybe it was a case of too much expectation too soon for Ødegaard. He suffered an excess of pressure while he was at Castilla which was why he took a while to acclimatise during his first loan with Heerenveen, before eventually finding his feet the following season at Vitesse. He returned to Spain and joined Real Sociedad full of confidence and conviction. He flourished under Imanol Alguacil Cada and the plan was to take things step by step over the course of two years and return as a fully-fledged player with the experience, maturity and confidence to fit into the Real Madrid starting XI. To do that, he would have been better off staying at La Real, but he changed his mind after being made promises that, for whatever reason, have not been kept.

Objectives in the medium-term

Ødegaard had had found the perfect environment at Real Sociedad; it was almost made to measure for him to continue his development in the elite before returning to Real Madrid. In Donosti, he had objectives on the horizon - the Copa del Rey final against Athletic, playing in the Europa League. He left San Sebastián a little sad not to have finished off what he had started, although with hopes of securing his place at Madrid. Several months on, he feels in no man's land - without the objectives he had had at Real Sociedad to having a secondary role in Madrid. With all of that in mind, he has decided that the best move would be to go out on loan again.