9 Sep 2015

'I visited Liverpool': £21m sensation who called LFC a 'dream club' confirms transfer rumours were true

In the final months of 2014, Liverpool were heavily linked with a move for Norwegian starlet Martin Odegaard, and at the time, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers described he coveted youngster as a 'wonderful talent' with 'wonderful ability'. Despite being a self-confessed LFC fan, Odegaard ended up at Real Madrid, and he's now officially confirmed that he considered a move to Anfield.

In December, Odegaard [Salary: £80k-a-week/£21m over five-years), reportedly toured of Merseyside, and during the tour, he reportedly:

* Visited Melwood, Anfield (for transfer talks), and Liverpool city centre.

* Took part in a training session with Liverpool's first team.

* Had dinner with Philippe Coutinho.

When asked this week about why he signed for Madrid, Odegaard confirmed that he visited Liverpool as part of the process of choosing a new club.

"I visited Liverpool...but my choice was Real Madrid [which] is the best place if you want to become a better footballer. My focus is to become a better footballer and develop every day".

Hmmm. Work with one of the world's greatest ever players in Zinedine Zidane very day, or toil away in Liverpool's academy under no-name coaches, with little hope of ever becoming a first-team regular.

It's not much of a choice, is it?

It's a bit of a shame, as Odegaard is a Liverpool fan, and he admitted this last season, when he told German newspaper Sport Bild:

“Liverpool have always been my dream club, But I will not let this affect my decision when I choose a new club".

True to his word, Odegaard didn't allow his apparent love for Liverpool to affect his decision, to be fair, he made the right decision, especially given the fact that no non-British attacker has *ever* made it through the academy to become a first-team regular.

That said, I still feel Odegaard made a huge mistake joining Madrid, for the following reasons:


* When all is said and done, Odegaard is still a child, and I can't see how such a drastic change to his life at such a young age is in his best interests.

* Is it worth abandoning friends, family, and an entire support network just to play in Madrid's reserves? It may seem that way to Odegaard right now, but he may regret it in the future.

* La Fabrica - Real Madrid's youth academy - has produced some top stars over the years, but the majority who've actually made it through to become first-team regulars are *Spanish*.

* The likes of Casillas, Raul, and Guti carved out incredibly successful careers with the club, but in recent years, players like Morata, Callejon, Carvajal, Granero, and Juanfran have either left for other clubs, or wasted away on the bench.

* As far as I can tell, no non-Spanish youngster has *ever* come through Madrid's academy to become a first-team regular. Russian winger Denis Cheryshev is - to my knowledge - the only foregin player in recent years to graduate from Madrid's academy and get a chance at the first team, but at the age of 24, he is *still* waiting to make his debut.

When it comes to foreign players, Madrid's historical template is to buy developed players from other teams (usually for big bucks), not produce them from within, which is the main reason Odegaard should've proven himself elsewhere first and then signed for the club.

As such, taking everything into consideration, Odegaard's chances of becoming a regular at the Bernabeu are incredibly slim, which is bad news for him, but  potentially good news for Liverpool.

Why?

Well, when Odegaard inevitably bombs out of Madrid, and the club tries to farm him out on loan, Liverpool can be there to pick up the pieces, and offer him a belated place at his alleged 'dream club'.

Author: Jaimie K



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