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Martin Odegaard Handed 1st Real Madrid Squad Call-Up for Almeria Match

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistApril 28, 2015

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 21:  Martin Odegaard of Real Madrid Castilla in action during the Segunda Division B match between Real Madrid Castilla v Barakaldo CF at estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on February 21, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Real Madrid youngster Martin Odegaard has been called into Los Blancos' senior squad for the first time ahead of Wednesday's La Liga fixture with Almeria.

The Norwegian prodigy may receive an opportunity to impress, tweeted by Nicholas Rigg of AS and Rhiannon Jones of Real Madrid TV:

Nicholas Rigg @nicholasrigg

Martin Odegaard has received his first call-up to the Madrid squad for tomorrow’s match against Almeroa #realmadrid

Rhiannon Jones @rhiannoncwjones

Ancelotti confirms Martin Odegaard gets his first call-up with Real Madrid's first team.

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 21:  Martin Odegaard of Real Madrid Castilla in action during the Segunda Division B match between Real Madrid Castilla v Barakaldo CF at estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on February 21, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Get
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Odegaard joined the club from Stromsgodset in January. The 16-year-old interested many of Europe's top sides but settled on a contract reportedly worth £80,000 per week at the Bernabeu.

Real Madrid Castilla coach Zinedine Zidane recently dropped Odegaard from the youth side after a poor run of results, reported by Pete Jenson of the MailOnline. Sky Sports Spanish football expert Guillem Balague believes the terms of the attacking midfielder's contract has set him up for difficulty, told to Revista de La Liga:

So he went to Madrid and the idea was, as it says in his contract, he would train with the first team but play with the B team (Castilla) under Zidane.

That's all well and good on paper but it's not working in practice. He enjoys training during the week (with the first team) but then he goes with Castilla and he doesn't feel part of the whole structure of the team—and his team-mates aren't particularly helping.

Balague suggests Odegaard has "been asked three times if he wouldn't mind coming to train more with Castilla, but he believes he'd learn more with the first team."

Balague told B/R UK's Ryan Bailey more about the situation:

Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti now appears to be utilising the depth of his squad. Odegaard has made eight appearances for Castilla—scoring one goal, according to Transfermarkt.com—but will now be given a taste of the big time.

Whether or not he makes it onto the pitch remains to be seen. Ancelotti's attacking options are among the most expansive in Europe, so Odegaard's appearance on the bench could be to designed to give him a little experience.

Ancelotti confirmed he will be making notable changes on Wednesday, tweeted by Real Madrid's official Twitter account:

#CHAMP13NS 🇺🇸🇬🇧 @realmadriden

.@MrAncelotti: “I think @JeseRodriguez10 is ready to play, he will play tomorrow”. #RMLive

Almeria are currently two points outside the relegation zone thanks to Sunday's 2-0 win over Eibar. The Andalusian side picked up just one win in 10 before this result, per WhoScored.com, and can be expected to receive a firm brushing aside at the Bernabeu.

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 21:  Martin Odegaard of Real Madrid Castilla in action during the Segunda Division B match between Real Madrid Castilla v Barakaldo CF at estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on February 21, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Get
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Madrid are currently two points behind league leaders Barcelona, meaning they cannot afford any slip-ups with just five domestic matches remaining. Odegaard's introduction would undoubtedly capture major interest, but Ancelotti can only afford to give the player his debut if Madrid are well out of sight.

Playing time is possible, especially if the Italian manager is planning on resting as many key players as possible ahead of a tricky period which sees Madrid play Sevilla, Juventus and Valencia in the space of a week.

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