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Former Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari has lavished praise on Martin Odegaard.
The Arsenal midfielder made a £30million permanent move to north London this summer, having spent a half-season loan from Real Madrid.
Solari, who spent six years at the Bernabeu in various roles, coaching the first team for a few months but mainly managed the club’s youth team, claimed that Odegaard demonstrated impressive character during his stint in Madrid.
“He got to Real Madrid so young, 15 or 16 years old. He had it difficult because he wanted to train with the first team which none (sic) of his age were doing”, he said on Guillem Balague’s for The Pure Football Podcast.
“He was a talent of course, but sometimes it is easier for them to start relating with the kids their age than going with the first team.
“You learn other things all the time because if you are with the first team you learn from the great guys and geniuses, but then he had to come back many times and play for Castilla and sometimes it is very difficult if you do not train with those players all the time.
“He was growing as a footballer, he was growing as a person as well. He did not have it easy at Real Madrid at the beginning, he showed character. There were so many expectations on this young kid.
“To manage that sort of pressure from the very beginning, and he talks great about it and I am really glad he grew as a player and as a person, first going to Real Sociedad, and coming back then going to play for Arsenal.
“I hope he is happy. Yes of course I dedicated a lot of time for him, as well to other players, if he got one thing from what I tried to teach him, and it is good for him, I am happy.”
Source – football.london