The Norwegian was wanted by half of Europe when he arrived in the Spanish capital back in 2015, with Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain all turned down in favour of Los Blancos.
Things haven’t worked out in the way either party imagined. Odegaard is again on his way out of the Santiago Bernabeu in the pursuit of minutes on the pitch, this time for Arsenal. It’s his fourth loan spell away from his parent club.
Odegaard has previously enjoyed good spells with Heerenveen, Vitesse and Real Sociedad, but he never seems to have done enough to warrant serious consideration back in Madrid.
This season was supposed to be his breakout year in white, recalled early from his stint in San Sebastian to feature in the first team only to run into the imperious trio of Casemiro, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, all ageing but in form.
Odegaard has signed two contract renewals since joining Madrid but has played just eleven games in the six years. His debut came at 16, but now he’s 22 and seemingly no closer to an important role with Zinedine Zidane’s first team.