Despite an underwhelming start to his 18-month loan deal at Eredivisie club Heerenveen, the Norwegian says his parent club are still monitoring him
Martin Odegaard believes Real Madrid retain faith in him despite the teenager struggling to impress on loan at Eredivisie side Heerenveen.
Norwegian 18-year-old Odegaard joined Heerenveen on an 18-month loan deal in January but scored just one goal in 16 league appearances for the club.
Odegaard’s struggles led to speculation he could return to Madrid early, but the 18-year-old expects to spend another season at Heerenveen.
“I had the opportunity to train with the best players in the world and the club still has faith in me,” Odegaard told Norwegian television channel TV 2 .
“They said that they would be monitoring how I am getting along and say that they still want to invest in me. I’m not speaking to [Zinedine] Zidane as often these days, but I chat regularly with the chief scout. They come to watch my games and follow me closely.
“It was my decision, but Real Madrid made all the arrangements for it to happen. It was my choice, because I wanted to play more.
“It was important for me to be playing at the top level. If I hadn’t done it, I would have stayed in Madrid, where the daily training sessions were the best part for me. At the end of the season, it was agreed that I should stay another year here.
“I feel like I’ve made the right decision; I’ve joined a club which suits me, has a great history and promotes the development of young players.”
Odegaard had to watch on from afar as Zidane led Madrid to the club’s first LaLiga and European Cup double in 59 years and he was pleased to see his team-mates lift the Champions League in Cardiff.
“Of course I’m happy that Real Madrid won the Champions League,” Odegaard added. “It shows that they are the best club. They were crowned champions of Europe by beating Juventus, who eliminated Barcelona.
“I would have loved to have had more chances at Real Madrid but I knew how difficult it would be when I first arrived. It was special being able to train alongside players I had only seen on television and YouTube. It was a bit surreal being next to them.”