Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard has admitted his time at Real Madrid was part of the learning phase that has got him to his current level.
The Norway international joined Madrid at a young age but found very few opportunities for playing time come his way.
The midfielder enjoyed loan spells away from the club before eventually opting to sign for Arsenal on a permanent deal after an initial loan deal.
His loan spells included playing for Dutch sides Heerenveen and Vitesse, Real Sociedad and Arsenal.
Quizzed on why he didn’t succeed at the Spanish capital, the 24-year-old described his time there as ‘positive’ while admitting there was lots of pressure.
“My time in Madrid was good. It was a positive stage. I have learned to mature and it was a great learning, but I needed to play more. I am happy with the decision to leave and how the race went. If I hadn’t gone through Madrid, I wouldn’t have reached the level I have today,” he said.
“Madrid is the biggest club in the world and so is the pressure there.”
Odegaard was named Arsenal’s captain ahead of the 2022/23 season and almost guided them to the Premier League title last season.