The Paul Pogba saga is showing no signs of slowing down and a summer departure looks inevitable, but Manchester United cannot be held to ransom.
The World Cup winner is set for another period on the sidelines after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed that Pogba would be going under the knife once more.
The Norwegian stated that it was a fresh ankle injury and that the former Juventus man is expected to be unavailable for another month.
After making his comeback against Watford and coming on at half-time against Newcastle United, Pogba was nowhere to be seen in the games against Burnley and Arsenal.
Whilst super agent Mino Raiola continues to bad mouth the club and the way it is run, United are unable to call upon their most gifted player at a time when they need him the most.
It is no secret how highly Zinedine Zidane rates Pogba and a summer switch to Real Madrid could be the best move for all parties, but only if United remain firm and don’t buckle from their valuation.
Madrid could try and include either James Rodriguez or Gareth Bale as makeweights in any potential deal.
But instead of getting one of Madrid’s ageing cast-offs, United should insist that Madrid include that Martin Odegaard is included in the deal.
Where has Odegaard been?
The Norwegian starlet rose to stardom when he signed for Los Blancos at the age of 16 in January 2015.
Odegaard was training alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema, but he was regularly playing for the Spanish giants reserve side Castilla, which was managed at the time by Zidane.
After struggling to breakthrough at Madrid and disappointing on loan at Heerenveen, Odegaard gave the footballing world a reminder of his talents with a breakthrough year at Eredivisie side Vitesse last season.
In 39 appearances across all competitions, the 21-year-old scored 11 goals and laid on a further 12 assists.
How is he faring this campaign?
Following the reappointment of Zidane in March, it is difficult to tell whether Odegaard will make a breakthrough at the club under the Frenchman’s stewardship. He has only featured twice for Madrid’s senior side.
The Norwegian star joined Real Sociedad on a two-year loan deal in the summer and is playing alongside former Red Devil Adnan Januzaj.
He is currently averaging a goal contribution every other game for the Basque side, in 17 La Liga games he has 4 goals and 5 assists.
According to WhoScored, Odegaard is currently averaging more key passes per game in La Liga (2.6) than Lionel Messi (2.4), who is arguably the greatest player of all time. Only Levante’s Jose Campana averages more (2.7).
Odegaard is currently averaging 1.9 shots and 2.8 dribbles per game. The Norwegian international is at present ranked in WhoScored’s La Liga best 11 for the season to date.
What would he bring to United?
Manchester United are crying out for some creativity in the number 10 role, the likes of Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira and Jesse Lingard don’t possess the same footballing brain as Odegaard.
The young Norwegian has the vision and guile to unlock any defence and he is the type of player Solskjaer needs to elevate his young team to another level.
Odegaard can glide past players with ease and relishes the quick one and two touch interplay passing in tight areas.
Similar to the likes of Messi and David Silva, Odegaard has that low centre of gravity, which allows him to create that half a yard of space to punish teams.
There are times where Odegaard looks like he is playing football with eyes in the back of his head, he is that good.
After missing out on Erling Haaland, if Manchester United allow Paul Pogba to join Real Madrid, Solskjaer has to tell his hierarchy that he wants his compatriot Martin Odegaard to be included as part of any potential Real Madrid deal.
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