Carlo Ancelotti’s admission about Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid days

Carlo Ancelotti was in charge of Real Madrid when the La Liga giants signed Martin Odegaard.

The midfielder joined the Spanish side from Stromsgodset as a 16-year-old in January 2015.

He is still technically a Real Madrid player but headed to the Premier League in January, joining Arsenal on loan.

Now 22, the Norwegian impressed in Arsenal’s Europa League draw with Benfica on Thursday night, with many saying he showed he can be the heir to Mesut Ozil.

Though Ancelotti previously admitted he didn’t want Odegaard at Real Madrid with Los Blancos president Florentino Perez the man behind the deal.

"When Florentino buys a Norwegian footballer, you simply have to accept it," Ancelotti wrote in his book Quiet Leadership which was released in 2016.

"Furthermore, the president decided that he would play three games with the first team as a public relations exercise.”

Ancelotti added: "He could be the best player in the world, but I don't care because he was not a player who I asked for. That signing was to do with PR."

Odegaard has undoubtedly grown as a player since his arrival at Real Madrid.

And former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell has backed the Norway international to sign for the Gunners on a permanent basis.

“While Martin Odegaard is a Real Madrid player he has been at the club six years and has never really established himself. That is a long time," Campbell told Football Insider.

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  • “Arteta is trying to build a good culture there. The dressing room is finally right and that is why Odegaard probably feels comfortable.

    “There is a lot of young players coming through now as well which is great for him. He can bounce off of those guys.

    “Why not seek a home? Why not join permanently? He is good enough. That is one thing that I know. He just needs the platform to show it. I can see it happening.”

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