Just how good is Martin Odegaard?

He provided, no matter which way you look at it, one of the defining storylines of the 2019/20 season in Spain. Written off as a teenager and a wonderkid who failed to fulfil his potential, Martin Odegaard showed why so many were wrong about him by loaning Real Sociedad on loan this season and marking himself out as one of the best players in La Liga.

Indeed, Odegaard is finally flourishing. The Norwegian is still only 21 years old, but he made the move to Real Madrid at such a young age (16) that this season felt like something of a career renaissance. In hindsight, the pressure that was placed on a player, and a person, so young was ridiculous. Odegaard deserved time to mature at his own rate, and that is now what he has done.

Odegaard’s sensational performances for Real Sociedad this season have led to speculation that his two-season loan at the Anoeta could be cut short this summer after just one season. The Norwegian has proven himself on loan and now his parent club could recall him in order to integrate him into their new look midfield for the start of the 2020/21 campaign.

Recent reports state that Real Madrid will take a decision on Odegaard’s future after the Champions League has finished, with Los Blancos 2-1 down from their last 16 first leg against Manchester City. They have some work to do to turn the tie around and make the quarter finals.

The noises out of the Santiago Bernabeu are that Real Madrid will have to sell players before they can make moves in the transfer market this summer. That might prove quite challenging given the financial landscape across the European game at this moment and so Florentino Perez might not have much money to throw around.

Perez always recognises the importance of hype and growing excitement among the Real Madrid support and so he could recall Odegaard to do this. The Norwegian has been on the books at the Santiago Bernabeu for the last five years, but the fans haven’t yet been given a real look at him. Real Madrid could, in a way, present him as something of a new signing this summer. It might be time for Odegaard to finally prove why Los Blancos kept him around and why he should be a big part of the club’s future.

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Fantasy LaLiga picks for this weekend’s action – Madrid derby takes centre stage

This weekend sees another full list of LaLiga clashes as Madrid prepares for the derby when Real host Atleti on Saturday afternoon.

It’s time to look ahead to the upcoming games as you decide on what changes, if any, to make in fantasy LaLiga.

Have a read and see if any tips stick out which might suit your fantasy LaLiga team this weekend.

Goalkeeper – Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao) – 5.5 million

Unai Simon is the third-highest scoring goalkeeper in fantasy LaLiga so far this season but far cheaper than Thibaut Courtois and Jan Oblak. Simon is on 55 points.

Defender – Yuri (Athletic Bilbao) – 3.0 million

The highest-scoring defender is another incredible bargain at just 3.0 million. Yuri is another Athletic Bilbao player.

Defender – Yeray (Athletic Bilbao) – 2.0 million

A good cheap defender and another Athletic Bilbao bargain! Yeray is a great choice for many fantasy LaLiga managers.

Defender – Daniel Carvajal (Real Madrid) – 7.0 million

Daniel Carvajal is enjoying some consistency at right-back this season for Real Madrid and is one of Los Blancos’ cheaper options.

Defender – Diego Carlos (Sevilla) – 6.0 million

Sevilla’s Brazilian centre-half is enjoying a strong season so far with Sevilla.

Midfielder – Daniel Parejo (Valencia) – 8.5 million

Parejo, the Spanish playmaker, having another fine season at the Mestalla.

Midfielder – Ruben Garcia (Osasuna) – 4.5 million

Five goals and one assist from Osasuna’s midfield makes Ruben Garcia one of the surprise packages of the LaLiga campaign so far.

Midfielder – Santiago Cazorla (Villarreal) – 5.5 million

Veteran midfielder Santi Cazorla only returned from long-term injury last season. He has been in great form for Villarreal.

Midfielder – Martin Odegaard (Real Sociedad) – 5.0 million

The 20-year-old Norwegian star who is still owned by Real Madrid has a huge future in the game. Martin Odegaard has performed brilliantly this season.

Forward – Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – 20.0 million

Lionel Messi won his sixth Ballon d’Or last week. The Argentine wizard missed the first few weeks of Barcelona’s season. Messi looked to be coming back to his best with two goals in the Copa del Rey during the week.

Forward – Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) – 10.0 million

Karim Benzema is ensuring no-one forgets about him in Zinedine Zidane’s new-ish Real Madrid squad.

Team in full (4-4-2): Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao); Yuri (Athletic Bilbao), Yeray (Athletic Bilbao), Daniel Carvajal (Real Madrid), Diego Carlos (Sevilla); Daniel Parejo (Valencia), Ruben Garcia (Osasuna), Santiago Cazorla (Villarreal), Martin Odegaard (Real Sociedad); Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

Total cost: 77.0 million

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Top fantasy LaLiga picks as Barcelona prepare for tough tussle at Valencia

This weekend sees another full list of La Liga clashes as Spanish football’s top flight settles in for the second half of the season.

It’s time to look ahead to the upcoming games as you decide on what changes, if any, to make in fantasy LaLiga.

Have a read and see if any tips stick out which might suit your fantasy LaLiga team this weekend.

Continue reading

Top fantasy La Liga picks for this weekend’s action in Spain

We have another full schedule of LaLiga games coming up in Spain this weekend.

It’s time to look ahead to the upcoming games as you decide on what changes, if any, to make in fantasy LaLiga.

Have a read and see if any tips stick out which might suit your fantasy LaLiga team this weekend.

Continue reading

Martin Odegaard/Fede Valverde midfield is in Real Madrid’s future

As if it was in any doubt that Martin Odegaard has been one of La Liga’s most consistent stars this season, the Norwegian served us all with a reminder of his quality against Barcelona on Saturday. The Catalans couldn’t cope with the on-loan Real Madrid midfielder as he contributed to a 2-2 draw for Real Sociedad.

The sight of Odegaard running at Sergio Busquets was almost unfair. The Barca midfielder had no way to keep up the Norwegian, frequently leaving his back four exposed as Odegaard drove towards them. Busquets certainly isn’t the only midfielder to have struggled against the 20-year-old this season, though.

Odegaard has sparkled to such an extent that some have speculated that Real Madrid could recall him early from his two-year loan deal at the Anoeta. Indeed, the Norwegian would give Zinedine Zidane another option through the centre of the pitch at a time when he is trying to revitalise his squad at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The introduction of Fede Valverde has already done this to a certain extent. The Uruguayan has become a key figure for Real Madrid over the past few months, both protecting their defence and also giving them another supply line to the attacking line. Valverde will be one of the first names on the team sheet when Real Madrid face Barcelona in the first Clasico of the season next week. Toni Kroos and Luka Modric will have to fit around him.

In theory, Odegaard should make for a good midfield partner. The Norwegian operates between the lines of transition, particularly between the midfield and the attack, and it’s Valverde’s job to deliver the ball into this area. They could be the basis upon which Real Madrid build their future on.

Zidane must be careful not to recall Odegaard too early, though. The Norwegian is clearly thriving playing first team football on a weekly basis. While Odegaard would surely receive significant game time back in the Spanish capital he would face more of a fight for his place. His development could feasibly be stunted if he returns at the wrong time.

But a midfield unit of Odegaard and Valverde is almost certainly in Real Madrid’s future. Both players are already showing themselves to be among La Liga’s best this season. One can only imagine how effective they might be as a duo.

How well do you know European Football? Want to challenge the best Spanish Fantasy Managers? Play www.liga-fantasy.com now.

Fantasy LaLiga picks for this weekend – Messi has to be in

We have another full schedule of LaLiga games coming up in Spain this weekend.

It’s time to look ahead to the upcoming games as you decide on what changes, if any, to make in fantasy LaLiga.

Have a read and see if any tips stick out which might suit your fantasy LaLiga team this weekend.

Goalkeeper – Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao) – 5.5 million Continue reading

Could Martin Odegaard return to Real Madrid sooner than expected?

Not so long ago, Martin Odegaard found himself on the scrapheap alongside the likes of Freddy Adu, Kerlon and Gael Kakuta. Signed by Real Madrid as a prodigious teenager, the Norwegian was barely given a chance at the Santiago Bernabeu before he was written off. How such hastiness now looks foolish.

On loan from the capital at Real Sociedad, Odegaard has arguably been the best player in La Liga over the first few weeks of the season. The Norwegian, now 20 years old, has scored twice and has contributed one assist in six appearances for the Basque side, but those numbers don’t quite do justice to the impact he has made.

There was one particular moment in Real Sociedad’s 3-0 win over Alaves on Thursday night that illustrated the level at which Odegaard is playing right now. The Norwegian picked up the ball, beat two players and then threaded through a pass few would have seen let alone make for Mikel Oyarzabal to finish.

Odegaard is playing so well that some have already speculated whether he could be recalled early by Real Madrid. The Norwegian is on loan for the next two years at the Anoeta, but with Zinedine Zidane short of options in midfield he is surely already thinking about how he could use the 20-year-old in his own team.

“At the end of last season, I felt like it would be best for me not to return to Madrid,” Odegaard explained in an interview given just a few weeks ago. “At Madrid, there are lots of big-name players and there is a lot of competition. It was obvious that it was better for me to ask for a new loan, which I think the club also accepted. That’s why we decided so soon.”

Real Madrid’s signing of Odegaard all those years ago finally looks to be paying off, but they have yet to gain any benefit themselves. Instead it’s Real Sociedad, who sit just one point adrift of Real Sociedad at the top of La Liga, who are getting the best from the Norwegian as he matures into the superstar he always promised to be.

The discussion now being had at the Santiago Bernabeu is surely now focused on whether it would be better to keep Odegaard out on loan at Real Sociedad for the full duration of his loan spell or to recall him and start integrating him into the Real Madrid first team. If he continues playing in this manner, the decision might be made for them.

How well do you know European Football? Want to challenge the best Spanish Fantasy Managers? Play www.liga-fantasy.com now.

Fantasy LaLiga picks for the upcoming weekend’s games

We have another full schedule of LaLiga games coming up in Spain this weekend.

It’s time to look ahead to the upcoming games as you decide on what changes, if any, to make in fantasy LaLiga.

Have a read and see if any tips stick out which might suit your fantasy LaLiga team this weekend.

Continue reading

A preview of all the action in gameweek 4 of LaLiga

Another full list of LaLiga matches awaits all Spanish football fans this weekend. There are some very interesting matchups to look out for as well.

Here is our preview of all ten games.

Mallorca v Athletic Bilbao

Key men: Salva Sevilla (Mallorca); Inaki Williams (Athletic Bilbao)

Prediction: Mallorca 0 – 1 Athletic Bilbao Continue reading

This weekend’s fantasy LaLiga suggestions

Two rounds in, thirty-six to go. What tales has LaLiga in store for us between now and next May?

It’s time to look ahead to the upcoming games in Spanish football’s top tier as you decide on what changes, if any, to make in fantasy LaLiga.

Have a read and see if any tips stick out which might suit your fantasy LaLiga team this weekend.

Goalkeeper – Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid) – 11.0 million

Always a great choice, Jan Oblak will be confident of another clean sheet against Eibar. Continue reading