When Ronny Deila took the reigns at Celtic in 2014, it was quickly asked if he would be bringing young teenage sensation Martin Odegaard with him.
The player was being chased by some of Europe’s top clubs, but many felt that Celtic had the edge to at least get a look at him considering Martin and Ronny’s relationship.
Before Ronny made the move to Celtic in June, he had handed 15-year-old Odegaard his first senior start for Stromgodset – which made waves at the time.
There was much talk of where the youngster would end up with many feeling Celtic could help develop the player, but in January 2015, the young Norwegian signed for Real Madrid for around €3million plus add-ons. While Celtic could never afford the wages Madrid were offering, it was believed Ronny would have loved to develop him more at the club on a loan basis.
The player moved to Spain and was put in Zinedine Zidane’s Castilla side. This wouldn’t stop rumours of a potential Ronny reunion – reports suggesting Celtic would look to loan the player from Real Madrid circulated but ultimately never came to anything even though Ronny Deila did speak highly of the youngster on several occasions.
Martin, now 19, has had his ups and downs in Spain, he only ever started one game for Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey.
Former Real manager Carlo Ancelotti called the move a “PR stunt.” after his exit from the Bernabeu. It seems as if the move stifled Martin’s progress and reputation.
The youngster was dropped from the Castilla side pretty quickly and in January 2017, the player embarked on an 18-month loan move to SC Heerenveen.
After an inauspicious start to his career in Holland, the youngster has settled, starting 25 games this season for his loan side scoring two goals in the process.
He is due back in Spain at the end of the season with many suspecting Martin will seek a permanent move away from the club. The 19-year-old is contracted until 2021 so whoever wants to sign him will have to pay a decent fee for his services.
In four years, however, Europe’s top clubs have looked passed him and it will be up to Martin to show he can live up to his early promise in the future.