Article Did Odegaard make the right choice?

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Real Madrid's Martin Odegaard joins Heerenveen on 18-month loan

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Martin Odegaard has pledged to "prove what he can do" after joining Dutch side Heerenveen on loan from Real Madrid until June 2018. Odegaard, 18 was unveiled to the media on Tuesday after the Eredivisie club announced they had reached an agreement for his temporary transfer. The Norwegian attacking midfielder, who failed to break into Zinedine Zidane's senior squad, is eager to earn regular playing time and said: "I just want to say that I'm very happy and that this is an opportunity for me to show what I can do. I'm very excited." Odegaard had been strongly linked with a move to Rennes since the summer but believes he has made the right choice in moving to Netherlands. "I heard great things about this club and what they expected from me," he said. "The most important thing is my development and that is why I'm here. "Real Madrid is the best club in the world but the best play there and that is why I decided to come here." Odegaard has played just one game for Real Madrid in La Liga, a 7-3 victory over Getafe last season, since joining the Bernabeu outfit in January 2015 from Stromsgodset....

 

Ok Ok let's stop there. That's all I needed you to know. So Martin's going to Holland. Having lived there myself for two decades and knowing the Dutch Eredivisie quite well I'm very interested in seeing how his move is going to unfold. From Mighty Madrid to tiny Heerenveen - From La Liga to Eredivisie - From a squad with Ronaldo, Bale, Ramos... to one with..hmm..one with..that guy..what's his name again?? Ok, I should've done my homework on this one..but anyway you get my point. So what did Odegaard say exactly during his interview?

  • ..an opportunity..
  • ..show what I can do..
  • ..I'm very excited..
  • ..my development..
  • ..that's why I'm here..

These are the bits we need. Well, primarily the 'development' bit but the rest sounds re-assuring too. So what do we do? We use FMM for a simulation in order to predict his future. It is that simple, people so let's get straight to it.

 

M. Odegaard after 1 season at R.Madrid and Heerenveen

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Ok, so let's see. Far right column are his starting attributes. Left ones, well, I think that's fairly obvious.

 

1 season with R.Madrid

  • Technical Attributes - Dribbling +1. That's it???
  • Mental Attributes - Creativity +1. Well ok, he's still young to up these that fast.
  • Physical Attributes - Unchanged. Unchanged?? Ouch. These should've bumped!

1 season with Heerenveen

  • Technical Attributes - Aerial +1. Oh..these attr. need their time then.
  • Mental Attributes - Decisions +1, Leadership +2, Movement +2. Ah look good increases seen here.
  • Physical Attributes - Stamina +2, Strength +1. Nice. Decent increase of essential attributes.

 

Looks like Heerenveen is the clear winner here. At his still tender age those physical attr. are expected to bump the most, followed by both technical and mental ones. So why the difference? Well at R.Madrid he played 6 games only vs 22 at Heerenveen. Training with the very best in the world in Spain with the Benzemas, the Iscos, the Bales, the CR7s etc but not getting any opportunities on the pitch is clearly not as effective as training in Holland with the likes of..the likes of....here we go again...with.. the likes of lesser quality guys..but getting essential time on the pitch proved crucial for his development. I didn't say it. FMM said it. But let's give Mighty Madrid the benefit of the doubt and see how things pan out 5 seasons into this Norwegian Wonderkid's career.

 

M. Odegaard after 5 seasons at R.Madrid - Attributes

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M. Odegaard after 5 seasons at R.Madrid - Stats

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Ok this looks pretty abysmal to me. This stings even for the most optimistic in our midst. Attributes? Hardly moved in 5 seasons. He simply stagnated. Stats? Oh dear..I don't even want to say it. This is definitely not what he signed up for when he joined this Spanish club. Simply Shocking!

 

 

M. Odegaard after 5 seasons at Heerenveen - Attributes

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M. Odegaard after 5 seasons at Heerenveen - Stats

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Look! Much better. See those Attributes? Strength +5!!, Stamina +5!! Movement +4, Passing +3, Some other attr. +2 and +1's as well. Now that's some decent development. Stats? Really good too. Plenty of games, he made Sc Heerenveen champions (and that my friends hasn't happend in the most loyal Heerenveen supporters' wildest dreams, I tell ya!) which resulted in a move to Serie A. Fair amount of goals and assists for Fiorentina all due to his hard work and the opportunites he got at Heerenveen. I see nothing but positives here.

 

Conclusion:

FMM17 says:

  • Games: Lots in Holland vs Few in Spain
  • Attributes: Big ups in Holland vs Small/No ups in Spain
  • Stats: Enough goals and assist in Holland/Italy vs Not enough of 'em in Spain

Conclusion: A move to Heerenveen is the right choice.

 

BatiGoal says:

No-brainer. Of course he should do it. The Dutch Eredivisie isn't as strong as La Liga but no way this kid is ready for such a competitive league. One step at the time. One step and only then do you stand a chance to give your talents free play. The Eredivisie ain't so bad just look at the talent it has produced over the years, decades, generations. Some real worldclass players. So if this kid is as good as the world proclaims he is then he'll have no problem showcasing this passes, his tricks, his genius in the Dutch stadiums in front of the Dutch football fans for the coming 18 months. I've always believed that training is great. It is, but it's no match for real competitive league games, Cup games, European games. You just can't replicate what's going on in a real game. The pressure. The Intensity. That desire to beat opponents. The RIVALRY!!! That terrible feeling after a loss. The crowd cheering and demanding a better performance. That manager in front of the dugout shouting his players forward. Those things are crucial for any player's development both technical, physical or mental. No training ground can match any of that which is why I've come to my conclusion : "Yes, Odegaard, go to Holland, you'll come back a much better, mature and improved player."

So for any managers out there who are reading this, please guys, don't bench your talents if you're not giving them enough gametime. Either do give them enough games or loan them out. It's clearly the better option for both player and manager. And to you Martin: "Goodluck at SC Heerenveen!".

 

I hope you enjoyed the read and comments most welcome as usual. Thank you!

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This is a really good article and a great take out on whether you should loan a player out. It seems despite Real Madrid being better overall loaning out is a great move in all instances. Nice work.

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Hi BG, do start from one save?

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This is a great article and has opened my mind about loaning players out. It hasn't worked for me at all in FMM2017 so far - the players seem to come back with no improvement at all and have done poorly in the matches to boot.

However the clubs I was loaning players to were all lower down (far below Heerenveen), so presumably had poor facilities and coaches in comparison. And to be fair, the players probably weren't that good either (ie not as much potential as Odegaard).

Anyway, I'm reading to try again - now I just need to get decent clubs to want to loan my players. :)

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3 hours ago, Dec said:

This is a really good article and a great take out on whether you should loan a player out. It seems despite Real Madrid being better overall loaning out is a great move in all instances. Nice work.

Thanks Dec, I enjoyed writing this one.

2 hours ago, rseven said:

Hi BG, do start from one save?

Yes, this is a single save with two Odegaards.

32 minutes ago, scratch99 said:

This is a great article and has opened my mind about loaning players out. It hasn't worked for me at all in FMM2017 so far - the players seem to come back with no improvement at all and have done poorly in the matches to boot.

However the clubs I was loaning players to were all lower down (far below Heerenveen), so presumably had poor facilities and coaches in comparison. And to be fair, the players probably weren't that good either (ie not as much potential as Odegaard).

Anyway, I'm reading to try again - now I just need to get decent clubs to want to loan my players. :)

Thanks Scratch. It's true the loan system could use an upgrade but if players are talented/good enough I've found they generally get enough playing time, such as in Odegaard's case and improve. Also, I used to just accept the first offer regardless the type of club or division they play in, but I've learned to be a little more selective when it comes to finding the right club for these loan players.

I usually have a type of club in mind in terms of strength/quality before I place them on the loan list as you don't want them to join a very strong club where the competition for places reduces their game time but also not too weak where they wouldn't improve much/enough. If mid-August I still get no 'acceptable' offers I usually accept the next club that comes in or find a way to give him 20-ish games (as a sub)/ season.

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29 minutes ago, marxistafozzski said:

I once read Odegaard signing for Madrid was a PR stunt...

Carlo Ancelotti never wanted him saying the signing was down to Florentino Perez

https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/real-madrids-signing-martin-odegaard-8255081.amp?

Not the first time and probably not the last. Teams such as Madrid are no stranger to such dealings where a manager's opinion/advice is overlooked to get a 'big name' in or to 'outsmart' the competition. It pleases the fans and they'll get to stay on for another few years. One example pops to mind was Schevchenko to Chelsea. Altho Abramovic is the owner and doesn't necessarily need to please anyone, including the manager, he insisted on getting his big name.

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28 minutes ago, BatiGoal said:

Not the first time and probably not the last. Teams such as Madrid are no stranger to such dealings where a manager's opinion/advice is overlooked to get a 'big name' in or to 'outsmart' the competition. It pleases the fans and they'll get to stay on for another few years. One example pops to mind was Schevchenko to Chelsea. Altho Abramovic is the owner and doesn't necessarily need to please anyone, including the manager, he insisted on getting his big name.

You are right...

Just seems a shame players like Odegaard are being used in such a way, the kid has talent and I would love to see him in the Prem one day

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Very interesting read. I don’t think I’ve ever had a game where he has fulfilled even a smidge of his potential. I tried him out as a potential 50-50 candidate last year before stumbling across Guedes and he just didn’t cut the mustered despite a probable PA of at least >170.

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10 minutes ago, marxistafozzski said:

You are right...

Just seems a shame players like Odegaard are being used in such a way, the kid has talent and I would love to see him in the Prem one day

I was, maybe still am tbh, skeptical about him being the next big star etc, but the kid is not the one to blame for the immense media hype surrounding him. Of course I do hope he succeeds at SC Heerenveen like FMM and myself predicted :) and he will if he's got not only the right skills and technique but also the professionalism to succeed as a worldclass player.

It's a pretty bold move leaving Madrid for Heerenveen (even on loan) as most people/players would see it as a major step "backwards", but if this truly was Martin's own choice and wants this opportunity to prove himself, all I can say he's a got a very mature and realistic mindset.

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3 minutes ago, Joewins said:

Very interesting read. I don’t think I’ve ever had a game where he has fulfilled even a smidge of his potential. I tried him out as a potential 50-50 candidate last year before stumbling across Guedes and he just didn’t cut the mustered despite a probable PA of at least >170.

Thanks Joe.

It could happen with any player but you're not the first to mention this. Obviously because of his PA many people have tried him but seems very few have been able to turn this kid into a major star. I think I saw PriZe using him in his career and looked quite decent there.

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Great article - He was sensational on my save a few months ago.

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Look at that! He's clearly got the potential. And hey who wouldn't want this guy to light up the coming decade(s) with beautiful football.

Thanks Sam.

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In my games, I would not call him a world beater, nowhere near the Neymars, Ronaldos, Bales etc but he is quite dependable when needed...

Screenshot_2017-01-11-18-51-41.png

That was after I recently got rid of him in Part Ex for someone...

In that save he played over 200 games for me and scored about 25-30 goals in that time.

I hope in Real life he does not become this decades Freddy Adu, seemed to have bags of potential at 13/14 and was a legend in earlier FM games, then seemed to go nowhere

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yes

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9 hours ago, marxistafozzski said:

In my games, I would not call him a world beater, nowhere near the Neymars, Ronaldos, Bales etc but he is quite dependable when needed...

That was after I recently got rid of him in Part Ex for someone...

In that save he played over 200 games for me and scored about 25-30 goals in that time.

I hope in Real life he does not become this decades Freddy Adu, seemed to have bags of potential at 13/14 and was a legend in earlier FM games, then seemed to go nowhere

His greens look decent but yes not a world beater as you say. and about 1 goal in 8 games is below par for an AMC unless as massive amount of assists make up for it.

If I can't get the best out of a particular (top) player I always give them one last chance before selling them in an alternative position. Provided there is one. With high numbers in Dribbling, Crossing, Technique..have you ever tried Odegaard as a winger?

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In my experience, he's never become the player he's been touted to be. Bit of a shame really. I hope this loan move to Heerenveen ignites his career a bit, because he hasn't exactly showed any signs of his potential. Interesting article :)

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Thanks Rob. There are a lot of Scandinavian players in the Dutch league and the playing style and conditions etc suits them very well. Maybe that's just what our Norwegian friend needed before conquering Europe's south.

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