Former Real Madrid manager Santiago Solari has spoken up about Martin Odegaard’s move to Arsenal and why things did not work out with Los Blancos.
On an appearance on The Pure Football Podcast, as relayed by Spanish publication AS, Santiago Solari has voiced his opinions about Martin Odegaard’s move to Arsenal and why he could not be a success at Real Madrid.
Martin Odegaard spent a largely fruitless six-and-a-half-year stint with Real Madrid, having joined the Spanish giants rated as a wonderkid back then. While he might not have been able to make his mark at the Santiago Bernabeu, the Norwegian playmaker has still been quite impressive during his loan stints at Real Sociedad and Arsenal.
With things reaching a head over his situation at Real Madrid this past summer, Odegaard chose to call time on his spell with Los Blancos before making a permanent switch to Arsenal. His latest stint with the Gunners has not started on the best possible note.
Arsenal only recently grabbed their first Premier League win of the season, having failed to score a goal or a point in their opening three games. However, Odegaard is tipped to be a success at the Emirates. And now, former Real Madrid manager Santiago Solari has commented on his spell with the Merengues as well as what is to come at Arsenal.
“Odegaard came to Madrid very young, 15 or 16 years old. It was difficult for him because he wanted to train with the first team, something that no one his age was doing. He was a talent, of course, but sometimes it’s easier for them start with boys of his age than with the first team.
“You learn other things because you are with the first team and you learn from the best, but he had to come back several times and play for Castilla. And that’s difficult if you don’t train with those players all the time. He grew up as a footballer and as a person. He didn’t have it easy at Madrid in the beginning, he showed character.”
“There were a lot of expectations for him. Handling that kind of pressure from the beginning … And he talks about it and I’m delighted that he grew so much, first going to Real Sociedad, then coming back and then playing for Arsenal. I hope he’s happy. I’ve spent a lot of time with him, like other players, if he learned at least one thing that I tried to teach him, and it’s good for him, I’m already happy with it.”
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Whether Odegaard can resurrect his career at Arsenal remains to be seen, but the Gunners continue to be panned to this day about their helter-skelter approach in the transfer market. As for the former Real Madrid midfielder, he will be eager to prove a point at the Emirates this season and beyond.