Midfielder arrives having had little chance at Real Madrid since they ended his hugely successful loan at Real Sociedad early

The last time anyone saw Martin Ødegaard in a Real Madrid shirt he was running up the pitch at the Rosaleda, alone. Madrid had just lost the semi-final of the Spanish Super Cup to Athletic Bilbao, but even as the minutes had slipped away and the final did too, as they chased a lifeline, desperately in need of creativity, Zinedine Zidane didn’t call for the Norwegian. Ødegaard didn’t even warm up, not setting foot on the grass until full-time when he went out and trained on his own.

It had become a recurring theme. In December and January, he played 77 minutes at Shakhtar, five minutes against Celta, and that was it. When, four days later, the squad was named for the visit to Second Division B Alcoyano in the Copa del Rey, a tie which Madrid were to lose, Ødegaard wasn’t in it. This time it was his choice. He had told Madrid he wanted to leave, to go somewhere he will actually play.

Related: Arsenal win race to sign Real Madrid midfielder Martin Ødegaard on loan

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