Santiago Solari had under his command a young Martin Odegaard. The already Arsenal player arrived in Madrid as a promising youngster from Norwegian football and the Argentine was in charge of his training at Castilla.
The midfielder had his adaptation period and several assignments in search of his best level. This arrived at Real Sociedad and, although it dropped somewhat at Arsenal, it showed that it was totally valid for the elite, although it never found its place at Real Madrid. This summer, at first, it seemed that it was the year in which the Norwegian could settle down, but this decided to leave definitively to Arsenal.
This story at Real Madrid is explained in The Pure Football Podcast by Solari himself. “Odegaard came to Madrid very young, when he was 15 or 16. It was difficult for him because he wanted to train with the first team, something that no one his age was doing. He was a talent, of course, but sometimes it's easier for them to start with guys their age than with the first team. You learn other things because you are with the first team and you learn from the best, but he had to come back several times and play for Castilla. And that's complicated if you don't train with those players all the time, “he says about his beginnings.
These, Solari says, were complicated, but the medium knew how to handle the pressure. Now, he wishes him the best in his time as a 'gunner'. “He grew up as a footballer and as a person. He didn't have it easy at Madrid at the beginning, he showed character. There were a lot of expectations in him. Handling that kind of pressure from the beginning … And he talks about it and I'm delighted that he grew up so much, first going to Real Sociedad, then coming back and then playing for Arsenal. I hope you are happy. I have spent a lot of time, like other players, if he learned at least one thing that I tried to teach him, and it is good for him, I'm already happy with it “, recognizes the Mister of America.