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Leagues: La Liga

Martin Odegaard could be handed Real Madrid debut on Saturday

Real Madrid are preparing to give a handful of youth players their debuts this weekend against Getafe, with the end of their season a mere formality.

After losing out on the La Liga title to Barcelona and having their quest to repeat as Champions League winners ended by Juventus, the coaching staff feels that now would be a good time to give some of their reserve team players a run-out in front of the Bernabeu fans.

Among those who could feature in the final game of the league campaign will be Norway international, Martin Odegaard.

In late April, Odegaard was called up to the senior squad for a match against Almeria (wearing the number 41) but failed to feature during the contest.

It is now understood that manager Carlo Ancelotti is strongly considering handing the Norwegian teenager an opportunity to make his first-team debut in front of the Bernabeu fans on Saturday.

Things have not gone smoothly for Odegaard since he first arrived at the club in January.

There is a stipulation in the midfielder’s deal with Madrid that says he will play for Real Madrid Castilla, but the club must ensure the teenager trains with the senior squad five days a week.

However, by training almost exclusively with the first-team, Odegaard had trouble adapting himself to his Castilla teammates on match days. There was no familiarity between the Norwegian and his counterparts on the reserve team. This led to frustration and inevitably to his teammates “freezing him out” during matches.

The problem persisted to the point when the team began losing so many matches that head coach Zinedine Zidane decided to bench the Norway international.

When Odegaard first arrived, Castilla were joint-leaders of Segunda B, and on Sunday they finished the season in sixth place.

Since his arrival in late January, the teenager contributed one goal and one assist to Madrid’s reserve side.

Upon his signing, Odegaard professed that joining Real Madrid “was the best option for the development of my career.” However, it now appears the Norwegian will be shipped out on loan next season.

The teenager does not intend to spend another season playing in the Segunda B, and he is not ready to play a role in the senior squad.

With all of this said, Ancelotti and his staff are considering giving Odegaard his first-team debut on Saturday against Getafe.

Should he feature in the match, he will become the youngest player in the history of the club to make an appearance, beating the record of Sebastian Losada – who debuted at the age of seventeen.


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