Norwegian wonderkid Martin Odegaard has been benched by Real Madrid Castilla for the team’s past two games. The reason the talented teenager has not featured for the club’s reserve side stems from a clause in the player’s contract.
Odegaard signed a six-year contract in January for a fee of around £2.3 million. His deal stipulates that the Norwegian will play for Real Madrid Castilla, but the club must ensure the midfielder trains with the senior squad five days a week.
However, by training almost exclusively with the first-team, Odegaard has had trouble adapting himself to his Castilla teammates on match day. There is no familiarity between the Norwegian and his counterparts on the reserve team. This has led to frustration and inevitably to his teammates “freezing him out” during matches. Castilla also struggled through a recent four game losing streak, which left the coaching staff with no option other than to address the issue with the player.
Castilla’s coach Zinedine Zidane has called three meetings with Odegaard and his representative (his father) to explain the situation and advise the midfielder to attend training with the reserve team on a regular basis. However, the teenager has pointed to the clause in his contract which stipulates he can train alongside Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo five days a week.
Since the player and club have not been able to come to an understanding, the coaching staff eventually came to the decision to demote Odegaard to the substitute’s bench.
During his spell on the bench, Castilla have won their past two games – after losing their previous four matches in the Segunda B.
Upon his signing, Odegaard professed that joining Real Madrid “was the best option for the development of my career.” However, the teenager appears to be making things difficult by isolating himself from his Castilla’s teammates.
As much as the midfielder is enjoying competing against Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez five days a week. There is no chance the teenager is going to break into the current first team.
Despite the stipulation in his contract, Odegaard should be spending more time familiarizing himself with his Castilla’s teammates and developing his match fitness with the reserves.