Jurgen Klopp’s Premier League leaders approached Real Madrid’s La Liga wonderkid Martin Odegaard after his loan spell in the Eredivisie.
As avid Eredivisie fanatics will tell you, spending your Saturday’s watching VVV Venlo blunder their way through 90 baffling minutes against PEC Zwolle can often leave you wondering if you are wasting your time on planet earth.
But, every now and again, a thrilling young talent bursts onto the Dutch football scene and reminds you why Holland’s top flight is worth persevering with.
And all those who had the pleasure of witnessing Marrtin Odegaard bamboozle defenders on a weekly basis during loan spells at Heerenveen and Vitesse Arnhem will not be surprised to see the Norwegian wonderkid reclaim his status as one of Europe’s brightest talents during another temporary spell at Real Sociedad.
Odegaard was arguably the most influential attacker outside of Ajax and PSV in 2018/19. And, according to his former Vitesse boss Leonid Slutsky, those defence-splitting passes and long-range rockets saw the Real Madrid starlet catch the eye of none other than Liverpool.
“His time at Vitesse has been very important,” the former Russia boss told EFE. “He became one of the best players in the Eredivisie and had many offers in his pocket.
“Not only from Real Sociedad, but also from Liverpool and Ajax. It is an honour to have had a share in Martin’s growth as a footballer.”
Real Madrid still have big hopes for a player they snapped up at the tender age of just 16 after a lengthy transfer saga five years ago – and with good reason.
Odegaard is the prince of San Sebastian right now, propelling a youthful and exciting Sociedad side into Champions League contention with seven goals and eight assists from the right wing. But, according to La Real legend Roberto Lopez Ufarte, his future could lie in the centre of the park instead, drawing comparisons with a certain ex-Sociedad and Liverpool star.
“Yes, he isn’t too far off Xabi Alonso,” Ufarte tells Noticias de Gipuzkoa.
“He has almost all of the tools to play in midfield. We won’t just speak about his technique, which is exquisite, and he knows the exact moment when he has to do something and when to pass the ball.”
Sound familiar Liverpool fans? It should. Unfortunately, Sociedad’s most naturally gifted footballer since Alonso might have already passed The Reds by.