Former Real Madrid coach’s Martin Odegaard declarations bode well for Arsenal

The Norwegian playmaker joined Arsenal on a permanent basis from Real Madrid this summer and his former boss has praised the player for how he handled his time in Spain

Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to playTap to playThe video will auto-play soon8CancelPlay nowArteta praises fans after Arsenal winByColin MillarDigital Sports Writer

  • 17:13, 15 Sep 2021
  • |
  • comments

Former Real Madrid boss Santiago Solari believes Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard “showed character” and did well to manage “many expectations” during his time in Spain.

.

Having made his senior debut aged just 15 for Norwegian side Stromsgodset, Odegaard made the highly publicised switch to the Spanish capital the following year.

He initially played in Madrid’s reserve Castilla side – then managed by Zinedine Zidane – and divided his time training between them and the first-team squad at Los Blancos.

In May 2015, the Norwegian became the youngest debutant in the history of the club at 16 years and 157 days old when he replaced Cristiano Ronaldo in a La Liga win over Getafe.

Martin Odegaard joined Arsenal in a permanent deal from Real Madrid this summer

Zidane’s promotion to first-team boss the following year to replace Rafael Benitez saw Solari appointed in the Castilla hotseat and oversee the progress of Odegaard.

He made a total of 62 appearances for the Castilla side alongside sporadic appearances in Madrid’s first-team before loan spells at Heerenveen, Vitesse and Real Sociedad.

Solari – who later had a stint in Madrid's first-team hotseat – believes the media spotlight on him upon his arrival at Real Madrid coupled with his lack of stability between training with the club’s senior squad and Castilla side required character.

Bernd Leno's outburst as Mikel Arteta in danger of breaking promise to Arsenal keeper

Max Aarons' troubling Arsenal comments follow on from Ivan Toney's assessment

Solari was talking to leading European Football Journalist Guillem Balague for The Pure Football Podcast which is available tomorrow via Spotify, where he praised Odegaard’s progress and tipped him for a bright future at the Gunners.

The Argentine said: “He got to Real Madrid so young, 15 or 16 years old. He had it difficult because he wanted to train with the first team which none of his age were doing.

“He was a talent of course, but sometimes it is easier for them to start relating with the kids their age than going with the first team.

Was Martin Odegaard Arsenal's best signing of the summer? Let us know what you think in the comments below

Mikel Arteta's Arsenal issues won't be fixed by transfer plans after Balogun revelation

Ivan Toney surprised by Arsenal's lack of quality in Premier League opener

“You learn other things all the time because if you are with the first team you learn from the great guys and geniuses, but then he had to come back many times and play for Castilla and sometimes it is very difficult if you do not train with those players all the time.

“He was growing as a footballer, he was growing as a person as well.

“He did not have it easy at Real Madrid at the beginning, he showed character. There were so many expectations on this young kid.

“To manage that sort of pressure from the very beginning, and he talks great about it and I am really glad he grew as a player and as a person, first going to Real Sociedad, and coming back then going to play for Arsenal.

“I hope he is happy. Yes of course I dedicated a lot of time for him, as well to other players, if he got one thing from what I tried to teach him, and it is good for him, I am happy.”

Odegaard impressed on a loan deal at the Gunners in the second half of last season before making the permanent move from the Spanish giants this summer.

Do you want an exclusive pre-season preview of YOUR club – both in your inbox and through your letterbox? Head over here to find out more and secure your copy .

Read More

Chris Sutton destroys Mikel Arteta for "utter rubbish" Arsenal comments

Read More

William Saliba shows his true feelings towards Arsenal with Instagram post

Most Read

  • Don’t Miss

  • Follow MirrorFacebookTwitter

    Comment MORE ON Martin OdegaardArsenal FCReal Madrid CFSantiago SolariLa Liga

    How can Arteta strengthen this summer? Get all your latest Gunners news

    Sign me up! Invalid EmailSomething went wrong, please try again later.We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time.More infoThank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow me See ourPrivacy NoticeMost Read