Norway midfielder Stefan Johansen has rubbished the notion that Martin Odegaard is not good enough to be in the senior national team squad, explaining he sees just how talented the youngster is in training.

The Norwegian wonderkid was the talk of the town when he joined Real Madrid from Stromsgodset in January last year, but his career has been on a downward spiral since then.

He made his senior debut for the club last season under Carlo Ancelotti, but since then he has been struck with the Real Madrid B team, and has not come close to making another appearance for the senior team.

Despite his struggles at Real Madrid, the midfielder was selected for Norway’s friendlies this month and he even played 45 minutes in their 2-0 win over Finland earlier this week.

Many believe Odegaard doesn’t deserve to be in the senior national squad yet based on his performances, but Johansen thinks otherwise, and believes he is one of the most talented players in the Norway team.  


The Celtic star feels the youngster still has age on his side, and will become a future star for both club and country, once he comes out of his current struggles.

Johansen was quoted as saying Norwegian broadcaster NRK: “Yes, he has been struggling, but to say that he is not good enough to be here?

“I see him in training each day, and he is more than good enough to be here.

“People need to see that he is still just 17, and it is not him who is choosing to be in the national team.

" He is at one of the biggest clubs in the world, and in many ways he is one of the best we have.

“I think he is learning a lot with the national team and his current struggles will help him to be a big star in the future.”

Odegaard, then just 15, became the youngest footballer to play in the European Championship qualifiers when he made his debut for Norway in August 2014.