5 Aug 2016

Transfer Update: 'Wonderful' £80k-a-week attacker desperate to sign for Liverpool. Met Coutinho in 2014

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, he ended up at Real Madrid. Odegaard later confirmed that he 'visited Liverpool' (and had dinner with Philip Coutinho), and new reports today suggest that a belated move to Anfield may be on the cards this summer.

According to the Daily Mail:

* Real Madrid plan to send Odegaard [[Salary: £80k-a-week/£21m over five-years] on loan to a Bundesliga club this summer.

* Odegaard, however, is 'waiting' for an offer from Jurgen Klopp, and he is 'anxious' for Liverpool to show an interest.

Klopp tried to sign Odegaard on loan during the January transfer window. It was a ridiculous idea then, and it's a ridiculous idea now:

* In what universe does it make any logical sense to sign an inexperienced, untested (and overhyped) 17-year old in a season with a drastically reduced fixture list.

* Signing Odegaard would be the ultimate insult to Liverpool's academy players. What is the point in the academy if the club brings in a 17-year old on loan? It's tantamount to a giant vote of no-confidence, and would (IMO) be massively demotivating.

* Over the last couple of years, the club has made a concerted effort to lower the wage bill, so bringing in a 17-year old bit-part player on £80k-a-week makes zero financial sense.

* Liverpool have plenty of players in Odegaard's position, so it's unlikely he'll play much. As such, he'd stunt his development even further by signing for the Reds.

With only one first team appearance to his name, Odegaard is (predictably) struggling to progress at Madrid, but he only has himself to blame. At the tender age of 16, he abandoned friends, family, and an entire support network just to play in Madrid's reserves.

Was it worth it? Clearly not. If Odegaard had actually studied Madrid's history prior to signing, he would've discovered two important historical trends:

* 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 Madrid at a later age.

* 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 he left the club at the age of 25 having made only 7 appearances in 4 years.

To be honest, I have zero sympathy for Odegaard. He should've signed for Liverpool when he had the chance, but as is usually the case, bright lights, fame, ego, and cold, hard cash triumphed over logic, reason, and personal development.


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