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After hours spent with Real Sociedad coach Alguacil improving Odegaard’s play

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The Basque manager has worked closely with the Norwegian to take the young play-maker's game to the next level

Real Madrid v Real Sociedad - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

After just one month of La Liga action the question was posed — should Odegaard return to Real Madrid next season rather than extend his loan for another year at Real Sociedad? The Norwegian was already playing at an audaciously high level so early into his first full season in La Liga. That debate still rages on today and it’s unclear what will happen with Martin at the start of next season. Now 21-year-old, and five years after his first arrival in Madrid, the club is clamoring for his return, but it will ultimately be Martin who makes the final call.

A major factor behind Odegaard’s protagonist role this season with Real Sociedad is the club’s coach, Imanol Alguacil. The Basque manager has entrusted Odegaard with a pivotal role in midfield, allowing the team to move and flow at the rhythm of Norwegian’s thoughts. In a report from MARCA, it was revealed from a source at La Real that Alguacil and Odegaard spend hours together after training.

“He talks a lot with Imanol, they spend hours watching film together to correct his movements and his football,” MARCA’s source said.

Imanol Alguacil has placed all his faith in Odegaard and in return the Norwegian has worked tirelessly to repay that faith. He has a great desire to learn and improve which has surprised everyone in Donostia. Earlier in the year, Managing Madrid reported on the impression Odegaard left on the Real Sociedad coaching team and fitness instructor's with his disciplined attitude and incredible conditioning. His former coach at Vitesse, Slutsky, has also echoed those points:

“He is very strong mentally,” Slutsky said. “He has great self-confidence and can play consistently for a long time.

“He takes care of himself, eats properly and is hyper professional. Almost like a robot.

“Martin has one of the highest levels of professionalism I’ve ever seen.”

The fans in San Sebastian and the club adore Martin Odegaard. He has made a home for himself in the north of Spain and it will be difficult for him to potentially reject a second year at the club. He has been labeled as a “phenomenon” both on and off the field as he is a “great professional and a good kid”.

Whatever is ultimately decided on Martin Odegaard’s immediate future, it is clear that Real Madrid have a gem in their ranks, who has quietly polished his game over the last few years away from the club.