Madrid drop Odegaard amid claims he 'can't be bothered' with reserves
Martin Odegaard has been dropped from the Real Madrid Castilla B side amid reports that the much-hyped Norwegian teenager has not settled with his new colleagues in the European champions' reserve team.
Odegaard, 16, moved to the Spanish capital in January in a transfer which reportedly could end up worth €8 million after Madrid beat many of Europe's other top clubs to his signature.
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Since then he has been training with stars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale during the week and then joining up with the reserve team to play games at the weekend, a plan that appears to have hit a hitch.
Odegaard made his full Castilla debut in a Segunda B (third tier) fixture against Bilbao Athletic in early February, and scored his first goal for his new club in just his third outing -- a 4-0 win over Barakaldo.
However, results suffered after that, with Castilla losing four games in a row to drop out of the promotion places.
Odegaard then went to play for Norway's senior side in their 5-1 friendly defeat to Croatia during the recent international break, and in his absence his club side won against Las Palmas B by the same scoreline. Coach Zinedine Zidane then left the teenager out of Sunday's visit to Conquense, where the side won 2-0 to move back up to sixth position, a point outside the playoff zone.
Odegaard dropping out of the Castilla XI has highlighted the awkwardness of the situation, which has him training five days a week with Madrid's first team, and then dropping down to the reserve side with just one session to prepare for a match. This makes it difficult to work on tactical plans with the Castilla coaches, while language issues also make it more difficult to build a rapport with his teammates.
A report in AS on Wednesday claims: "Backroom staff feel that with Odegaard in the side Castilla play more like a team of 10 players."
That story then goes on to claim that "some players have complained that the teenager 'can't be bothered' with his Castilla teammates and is only interested in being alongside Cristiano Ronaldo."
The prodigious Odegaard was included in Madrid's squad for the Champions League knockout phase, raising expectations he could become the youngest ever player in the history of competition.
However, first-team coach Carlo Ancelotti has regularly called for patience, reminding reporters that it takes time to settle in a new team and new country, suggesting it is unlikely he will play for the first team this season.