Martin Odegaard is being tracked by a host of Europe’s top clubs.
16-year-old Odegaard is considered one of the brightest talents in world football, and he has been visiting a number of clubs this season before deciding with whom to sign.
Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona have all invited the youngster to train with them, and reportedly he has settled on German giants Bayern Munich as the club he will sign for. Having already turned out three times for the full Norwegian international side, the attacking midfielder is expected to become one of the true greats of the game - although it is hard to tell if he will fulfil his obvious potential at his current young age.
Despite playing regularly for home club Stromsgodset, moving to a club who can offer top class training facilities would appear to be a wise move for the youngster as he reaches the age when he should be developing at a rapid rate. No one will criticise him for scouting all his potential destinations before settling on a club to sign for, as he will be spending the next few years of his life there, but there is the risk that a move away from Norway could actually limit his progress as first-team opportunities will be hard to come by.
Former Blackburn and Manchester United defender Henning Berg - who turned out 100 times for Norway in his playing career - has warned the youngster about leaving his home nation to join a big club, referencing many players who have left for Manchester United or City, only to go out on loan and end up returning to Norway later in their careers.
“He [Odegaard] is an exceptional talent,” the current Legia Warsaw coach said. “He may go to any club in the world. Bayern, Barcelona ... They all want him.
“However, a number of 15 and 16-year-old Norwegians, who moved to Manchester United and City, spent two or three years with the juniors or in the reserves, and then - when they wanted to take a step forward and get to the Premier League - it was very hard for them.
“They went on loan to other clubs in England or in Europe, and then returned. And in Norway they had to once again work on another transfer.”
Even though Berg has warned him of leaving, he does believe that the time spent with the big clubs is not wasted even if it doesn’t work out, as the training conditions are far exceeding those available elsewhere.
He added “I would not say that they have lost time [in their careers], because the conditions there are already at the highest level.”
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