Fede Valverde’s injury is a blow to Zinedine Zidane and Real Madrid, but it may just offer an opportunity for Martin Ødegaard to shine and show Los Blancos what he can do.
Valverde is an important figure in the Madrid team with quite a unique profile, but Ødegaard could offer Zidane something different. The Norwegian playmaker shined on loan at Real Sociedad last season, and Valverde’s absence could give him the run of games he needs to replicate that form.
“It’s evident that the Norwegian doesn’t contribute to the team the strength that Valverde provides, in the same way that what the Uruguayan lacks (a clairvoyant-like vision) Ødegaard provides,” wrote Mario Calderón in Mundo Deportivo. “The little Viking is the compass that Zidane sometimes misses when Luka Modric is either absent or not on top form. Together with Eden Hazard, Ødegaard has the opportunity to take the baton and not let go – it’s his moment.”
A Norway international with 25 caps under his belt, Ødegaard came through the youth system at Strømsgodset before catching the eye of Madrid at just 17. His early years in the Spanish capital saw him turn out for Real Madrid Castilla as well spend time on loan at Heerenveen and Vitesse, before his breakthrough moment with La Real last season.
Ødegaard scored seven goals and contributed nine assists in a talented and stylish La Real team, impressing to the degree that Madrid cut short his two-year loan to bring him back for 2020/21. Now, his moment has come to prove they made the right call.
Los Blancos are currently fourth in LaLiga having lost two of their last five, four points off league leaders Real Sociedad. In Europe, Madrid are third in their Champions League group, trailing Shakhtar and Mönchengladbach.
Featured image courtesy of The 42.