Norway’s Martin Odegaard was only 16 when, in January 2015, he joined then-European champions Real Madrid from Stromgodset for a reported fee of £2.3m. Drawing comparisons with Lionel Messi, he had regardless taken what was perceived to be a risk; Sergio Canales was similarly once considered one of the world’s most promising young talents but, upon moving to the Santiago Bernabéu, his career stalled and his remarkable potential was ultimately never quite realised.
By the time of his move to Real. Odegaard had become the youngest player to appear and score in the Norwegian Premier League – he contributed five goals and seven assists in 23 appearances for Stromsgodset – but, following an impressive loan spell with Real Sociedad, he has struggled for regular first-team football at Real. Zinedine Zidane started and then substituted him in Real’s first two fixtures of 2020/21, after which he became peripheral and made only occasional appearances in central midfield, towards the right of their midfield, or as their number 10, leading to another loan move – this time to Arsenal, in the Premier League.