Real Madrid to replace Luka Modric with Martin Odegaard?

Martin Odegaard (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Martin Odegaard (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid loanee Martin Odegaard scored his first career goal at the Santiago Bernabeu, opening the scoring as Real Sociedad knocked Los Blancos out of the Copa del Rey. But could Odegaard join his parent club one year earlier than expected as a Ballon d’Or winner’s replacement?

After a poor 2018-2019 season, some fans wondered if Luka Modric had seen his best days pass. The 2018 Ballon d’Or winner, however, has turned things around in Zinedine Zidane’s second stint as Real Madrid manager, showing the quality over the past couple of months that has made him one of the greatest midfielders in the storied club’s history.

At 34, Modric has still shown that he has the hustle to go with the technical quality, vision, and goal-scoring ability that have made him a great all-round midfielder. He isn’t quite able to match physical teams, but his intelligence, experience, and hard work have made him useful defensively.

However, Modric is on an expiring contract, and with potential interest from clubs like Inter Miami and AC Milan, he may move on after a successful 2019-2020 season. If he would like a higher salary at David Beckham’s Inter Miami, for example, Real would, per MARCA, allow him to make that late-career transition out of respect for his accomplishments at the Bernabeu.

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And if that were to happen, MARCA writes that Real Madrid would ask Martin Odegaard if he has interest in leaving Real Sociedad one year early from his two-year loan in order to replace Modric in the Whites’ midfield.

Odegaard has been a revelation in his first season at Sociedad, showing exponential growth after a positive season with Vitesse.

He has shown incredible vision as a passer, producing some of the finest through ball assists in the entire league this season, leaving back fours for dead.

Odegaard is also capable of scoring extraordinary goals, either by weaving through traffic with the ball at his feet or perfectly smashing a longshost into the top corner.

According to, the Norway international is averaging 2.4 key passes per game, completing 2.6 dribbles per game (an incredibly impressive number for a No. 10), and drawing 1.4 fouls per game to go with his four goals and five assists in La Liga.

Odegaard is an accurate, composed passer and brings positive defensive contributions to the table with his pressing as an attacking midfielder.

When comparing Odegaard and Modric head-to-head, what Odegaard lacks in experience, he makes up for in athleticism and incisiveness. Odegaard is a better No. 10 than Modric, even if the latter can do more in a flatter midfield role. But Toni Kroos, who is in the midst of another world-class season, fills that role better than Modric. Plus, Real have Fede Valverde as a true, box-to-box No. 8 alongside Casemiro as the world’s best No. 6.

Odegaard is enjoying his football at Sociedad. Not only is he a regular starter, but he is also the star of the show. The 21-year-old is the focal point and pivot of Sociedad’s attack in a system that is tailored to him. Leaving that early in his development may not be something he is interested in.

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But Odegaard loves Madrid and wants to excel at the club. So if Modric leaves, as some expect him to, then Odegaard’s situation will be worth watching closely.