David Adán


The Norwegian has led Arsenal's charge  to the top of the Premier League


Academy graduates aren’t given time  at Real Madrid, where the demands  are sky high. Martin Odegaard left in 2021, and now he’s a star. 

Odegaard, Achraf Hakimi, Marcos Llorente… A number of former Madrid youth-team players have flourished since leaving the Bernabéu.

Odegaard, 24, is the Premier League’s new star. He has eight goals and five assists for Arsenal this term - more than the whole of last season.

With the Norwegian pulling the strings, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal are flying. The Gunners now lead the English top flight by eight points.

Odegaard left Norway to join Madrid in a €2m deal 2015, but never got a proper chance to establish himself in Los Blancos’ first team.

He played 11 times for the club, totalling less than 500 minutes on the pitch. After several loan moves, he ended up signing for Arsenal for €35m.

Odegaard has truly arrived as a player in North London. His market worth has risen to €60m, making him the Premier League’s 25th-most valuable star.

Operating at No. 10 or in central midfield, he’s excelled. He’s played a total of 83 times for Arsenal, scoring 17 times and supplying 12 assists.

Odegaard made his Norway debut  in 2014, at just 15. He’s now won 47 caps and is the team’s skipper. He’s only scored twice, though.

With Odegaard and Erling Haaland in their ranks, the Norwegians are targeting qualification for their first major tournament since 2000.

Will Madrid come to rue selling Odegaard? They may well have Jude Bellingham in their midfield ranks next season - but he’ll be very expensive.