Zidane on Odegaard’s Real Madrid exit: “He demanded it. I told him to stay and fight, but it wasn’t to be”

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has been critical of the decision of Martin Odegaard’s decision to leave the club to join Arsenal on a loan deal last month.

The Norwegian will remain at the Gunners until the end of the campaign and then return to Madrid this summer, but Zidane has revealed that it was the player who pushed for an exit.

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane

Odegaard had made just one league start for Madrid since September and played just once in a substitute appearance – a five-minute cameo against Celta Vigo in January – in the 12 matches for Los Blancos prior to his exit being confirmed.

Zidane said of the player’s exit, in quotes carried by Marca: “He wanted to leave, we have spoken about it two or three times. He is a player who wants to play. Martin wanted to leave, he wanted to get minutes and chances elsewhere. The player demanded it. I told him to stay and fight, but it wasn’t to be.

Martin Odegaard

“In the end it is everyone’s decision. I hope he is happy.”

The 22-year-old made his Gunners debut a week ago with a fleeting substitute appearance in the draw against Manchester United, but is yet to make his first start for the club.

Odegaard previously had loan spells at Heerenveen, Vitesse and Real Sociedad.

Tags Martin Odegaard Zinedine Zidane