Real Madrid still have big plans for prized loanee

Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images) /

Real Madrid have loaned out some of the most talented young players in European football this season. Brahim Diaz joined Milan and Reinier Jesus Borussia Dortmund this summer. Borja Mayoral also made his way to Serie A in the summer, joining Roma. Meanwhile, Takefusa Kubo is now at Getafe after his loan to Villarreal did not work out. And in the winter, Luka Jovic and Martin Odegaard received moves to Eintracht Frankfurt and Arsenal, respectively.

Thus far, only the loan moves to Italy from Brahim and Mayoral have been worth writing home about, though there are positive signs for some of the others. Jovic isn’t starting regularly for Eintracht, but his goal-scoring rate of three in 234 minutes is encouraging. Reinier just scored his first goal for BVB. And Odegaard is starting to show signs of returning to his best football.

Arsenal and manager Mikel Arteta likely dream of keeping the Norwegian for longer than the 2020-2021 season, but it doesn’t sound like Real Madrid will even entertain the idea of allowing this to happen.

According to a report from MARCA’s Jose Felix Diaz, Real Madrid see Martin Odegaard as a “fundamental” player for them in the “immediate future”, implying that he will have a key role to play for Los Blancos in 2021-2022 despite not being a major factor in 2020-2021.

Martin Odegaard can make a difference for Real Madrid next season

Jose Felix Diaz points out that Odegaard wasn’t really fully healthy for Real Madrid before his loan to Arsenal. Odegaard’s play had suffered in the second half of an otherwise wonderful campaign on loan with Real Sociedad, because he was suffering from patellar tendinopathy. But he has reportedly finally recovered fully in the last couple of weeks.

Odegaard has all the traits necessary to be a star player for Los Merengues. He is class on the ball, capable of scoring goals, and very disruptive as a creator in the final third due to his passing and movement. He ran the show for La Real, and if he were never injured, he very likely would have led them to a Champions League berth.

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So you can imagine what Odegaard can do for Los Blancos, and you can see why it’s reassuring to hear they have important plans for him. Only time will tell if they follow through and if Zinedine Zidane is on the same page, but it’s honestly more likely that Odegaard didn’t play due to protection from injury by Zidane than the manager disregarding the young man’s talents. And that’s why Madridistas should remain optimistic about what’s to come in 2021-2022.