14 Jan 2016

Offer Made: Klopp wants 'wonderful' £80k-a-week sensation who 'visited Liverpool' and met Coutinho

In the final months of 2014, Liverpool were heavily linked with a move for 'wonderful' Norwegian starlet Martin Odegaard, but despite being a self-confessed LFC fan, Odegaard ended up at Real Madrid. Odegaard later confirmed that he 'visited Liverpool' (and had dinner with Philip Coutinho), and new reports today suggest that the Reds have gone back for a second bite of the cherry.

According to Marca, Real Madrid have rejected Liverpool's offer to take Odegaard on loan until the end of the season.

I sincerely doubt the veracity of this particular rumour. Why would Klopp bring in a 17-year old with no competitive experience ahead of a more proven player who's ready to go straight into Premier League games?

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".

Clearly, Odegaard [[Salary: £80k-a-week/£21m over five-years] kept his word about staying objective over his choice of club, but in my view, he made a mistake joining Madrid, for the following reasons:

* Is it worth abandoning friends, family, and an entire support network just to play in Madrid's reserves? He may regret that 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 successful careers, 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 and become a first-team regular. Russian winger Denis Cheryshev is the only foreign academy graduate player in recent years to get a chance at the first team, but at the age of 25, he is *still* waiting for his first start.

* Madrid's historical template is to buy developed foreign 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.

The attraction of Madrid is obvious, but signing for a club like that at the age of 16 is (IMO) madness. Odegaard could be playing regular first-team football for a lower-profile club right now, but as is often the case, bright lights, fame, and cold, hard cash won the day.

That said, Madrid are right to keep Odegaard close; at 17, the last place he should go is the overly physical Premier League, and playing for Liverpool, he'd probably end up on the injury list.

Author: Jaimie K



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