Martin Odegaard says that Real Madrid are “delighted” with the progress that he is making with his game.
The 18-year-old midfielder, who will celebrate his 19th birthday next month, moved to Santiago Bernabeu amid much fanfare from Stromsgodset in 2015 but that failed to materialise into significant game time in Spain.
As such, Zinedine Zidane has shifted the young Norway international out to Heerenveen on an 18-month loan deal that will expire in the summer, where he has earned regular game time.
Madrid have been keeping close tabs on the youngster, though, and they are encouraged with how he is doing in the Eredivisie.
“They’re delighted,” he told Dagbladet. “They think I’m doing well and that’s good.
“I won’t be back in Madrid in January, I’ll go back in June and then we’ll see.”
Nevertheless, the teenager is still aware of the challenge that will face him when he returns to the Spanish capital and is prepared to be patient with himself.
“I’m probably a little bit away [from the first team], but I always know that it would take time,” he said.
“I think it’ll be a couple of years from now before I’m at my best. I still have many years ahead of me and that’s something you might forget when you make the jump as young as I did.”
Heerenveen team-mate Morten Thorsby, who is 21, has spoken highly of the youngster.
“He’s down to earth and a great guy,” he said. “We get on well together and I think we both appreciate each other.
“Being a footballer can sometimes be a bit lonely and unsocial. Now we have each other, it helps a lot.
“We’re quite protected and sheltered. We both see things that we have to work on. That’s our focus.”
Should Odegaard feature for Norway in their friendly with Macedona on Saturday, it will be the first time he has played for the national side for 588 days.
Meanwhile, he has turned out 13 times for Heerenveen so far this season, producing two assists in the games that he has played but he has yet to find the net.