Martin Odegaard Targeting Regular Football Amid Ajax, Bayer Leverkusen Rumours

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJune 5, 2019

Norwegian Vitesse-player Martin Odegaard is seen during the Dutch Eredivisie play off final second leg football match between Vitesse Arnhem and FC Utrecht in Arnhem on May 28, 2019. (Photo by Lars SMOOK / ANP / AFP) / Netherlands OUT        (Photo credit should read LARS SMOOK/AFP/Getty Images)
LARS SMOOK/Getty Images

Real Madrid's Martin Odegaard has said his main concern next season will be finding regular football amid rumours linking him with Ajax and Bayer Leverkusen.

Per Football Espana, Real do not want to sell him this summer, even with a buy-back clause, amid interest from Ajax. It's said they would prefer to loan him to the Bundesliga, where he could follow in Dani Carvajal's footsteps with a temporary switch to Leverkusen.

Odegaard told VG (h/t AS' Ivan Cordovilla, via Football Espana):

"I do not want this summer to pan out like last summer.

"It was a very good year; I took big steps and I grew more in my game. Now I want to go on vacation, but I do not want summer to repeat itself, it was not good for me.

"The indication from Real Madrid is that they are very happy with me, but it is difficult to play there and probably it will also be the case next season.

"They have also sold many players with a repurchase clause, I do not care much, I just want to go somewhere where I have the opportunity to play and a coach that believes in you."

Last summer, Odegaard returned from a loan spell with Heerenveen and made three appearances for Los Blancos at the International Champions Cup before he was shipped back to the Eredivisie for a loan spell with Vitesse Arnhem on August 21.

He enjoyed an excellent season with Vitesse, notching 11 goals and 12 assists in all competitions.

Scouted Football and statistician Dave O'Brien offered further insight into his superb campaign:

Scouted Football @ScoutedFtbl

Including play-off games, Martin Ødegaard (20) played more key passes than any other player in the Eredivisie this season. • 61 key passes from open play • 61 key passes from set-pieces King of the creators. https://t.co/FugvdLcVA9

Statman Dave @StatmanDave

Martin Ødegaard per game stats in the Eredivisie last season: 4.5 total take-ons 3.6 chances created 3.2 total tackles 0.7 direct goal involvements All action. 💥 💥 💥 https://t.co/ELeUIAviab

The 20-year-old looks to be on his way to achieving his potential; something that appeared in doubt after he made just two competitive appearances for Real following his high-profile arrival at the club at the age of 15.

Despite his strong showing with Vitesse, it's unlikely he'd play a significant role at the Santiago Bernabeu next season if he remains, so another loan move looks to be on the cards.

Whether they allow him to join Ajax or prefer a switch to Bayer, it will be best for all parties to have his immediate future decided early in the summer so plans for the new season can be finalised.

If he has another fine campaign, Real might feel he's ready to feature in their own team when he returns.