The big up and coming talent in world football has emerged this summer as 15-year-old Norwegian Martin Ødegaard, who has burst onto the scene in his native country. But with teams all over Europe chasing the youngster, just how good is he?
2014 has been a meteoric rise for the youngster. Having started training with the Strømsgodset first team aged just 13, he made his Norway Under 21 debut in January against Scotland still only 15 years old. Two months later he was handed his first start for Strømsgodset against Aalesunds FK, becoming the youngest player to ever play in the Tippeliga, the Norwegian first division. Come May he’d signed his first professional contract, and then the height of the rise came in August, becoming the youngest player ever to appear for Norway in an international friendly against minnows United Arab Emirates in a 0-0 draw. Ødegaard has continued to perform for his club side, and was recently called up to the Norway Under 21 squad as he continues to grow his stature in world football.
It’s not a surprise with a CV like that that during the summer Manchester United and Everton were hot on the heels of the youngster, and now Liverpool have entered the fray and appear to be in the best position to sign Ødegaard. Rodgers reportedly sent scouts to watch Ødegaard in the Norway Under 21 game just last week against in Portugal, and with him being a big Liverpool fan, Anfield seems like it could be his next home.
So what does Ødegaard actually have to offer? Having played the majority of his 17 games for Strømsgodset in attacking midfield, Ødegaard won’t get too many first team opportunities for years to come. With quite a small build, he’s already being likened to a certain Lionel Messi, but I think that’s a long way away. With 3 goals and 5 assists to his name already, Ødegaard has the world at his feet right now, and with the right guidance he could make it all the way to the top of the game. With bags of pace and trickery to match, Ødegaard is a real flair player, and the type of player typically you see doing well in Spain.
At a potential cost of £2million, it could be a massive gamble for someone so young, or an absolute bargain ten years down the line. Someone better snap him up, because I’d love to see him in the Premier League in years to come.