Martin Odegaard believes Carlo Ancelotti’s previous comments on his playing time were misinterpreted.
The Norway midfielder returns to Real Madrid following a successful half-season loan at Arsenal. Impressing at the Emirates, Odegaard made 14 Premier League appearances and registered one goal and two assists.
Mikel Arteta was also impressed with the 22-year-old’s contribution but with no option to buy at the end of the loan he returns back to his parent club Real Madrid.
And it just so happens there will be a different manager there to when he left. Ancelotti, who was at La Liga giants between 2013-15, has returned following one-and-a-half years at Everton.
Ancelotti was in charge when Odegaard was brought in by Real Madrid and even handed the then-16-year-old his debut. But following Ancelotti’s exit, the Italian claimed he did not care if the sought after teenager came to Real Madrid or not.
In his 2016 book Quiet Leadership, Ancelotti said: “When Real Madrid decided to sign a boy from Norway, 16-year-old Martin Odegaard, I thought, ‘I do not care if he comes or not, because he will not play for me now’.”
Odegaard was recently asked about the comments but played them down.
“There was a bit of talk about it last time,” he told TV 2. “Then I think maybe it was misinterpreted a bit by some, but that’s the way it is. It’s not something I stress about.”
Ancelotti in fact went on to pen that Odegaard could become the best player in the world, albeit not during his time at the club.
Should Arsenal try to bring back Odegaard? Comment below.
“What he said was probably just that I was a player for the future,” adds Odegaard. “And that in Madrid you often do not have as good a time as a coach. It was probably more what he said, so I do not put much into it, says Odegaard.
“It is a coach I know and with whom I had a good relationship when he was last there.
“In that sense, it is positive. But beyond that, one day has passed, so I do not know too much about what he thinks about things.”
Asked if he believes he will return to Real Madrid and witness the club’s return to success, he appeared to dent any hopes Arsenal had of recapturing him
“Yes, I absolutely believe in that,” he replied.
Ancelotti was recently asked about the future of his loan stars, who also include Gareth Bale and Dani Ceballos, and it seems the Real Madrid boss has all of them firmly in his plans.
He said: “This team reached the semifinals of the Champions League and fought for the league title without players like Gareth Bale, Martin Odegaard and Dani Ceballos. Therefore, we will definitely be competitive this year.”