Arsenal loanee Martin Odegaard was forced off at half time in Norway’s 3-0 victory over Gibraltar on Wednesday after picking up an ankle injury.
Shortly before the break, Odegaard went down clutching his ankle and did appear to be in some pain. He was spotted punching the ground and needed a few minutes of treatment before he felt able to carry on.
However, just five minutes later, Odegaard was forced to ask manager Stale Solbakken to withdraw him, bringing a disappointing end to his first match as captain of his country.
There were plenty of concerns that the 22-year-old may have done some serious damage to his ankle, but fortunately, Odegaard confirmed to TV2 after the game that he is confident he won’t need any time on the sidelines to recover.
“My ankle got a good twist, so it was a bit painful then and it’s still painful now,” he explained. “But I don’t think it’s too bad.
“I hope it’ll heal in a day or two, but it is a bit sore. I think I’ll be fine to face Turkey on Saturday. So far, everything seems alright.”
That optimism was shared by Solbakken, who added: “His status is that he got a kick and went over on it. It’s a football injury, everyone who has played football has had this kind of injury. A roll. I have high hopes that he will be ready for Saturday.”
Things have gone so well for the Norway captain that Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is already keen to sign him permanently, and the Gunners even believe that he would be open to extending his stay if the right offer arrived.
However, Marca state that Odegaard still dreams of succeeding at Real and club officials are not interested in losing him, although this could all come down to who is in the dugout at the Santiago Bernabeu next season.
Both Odegaard and the Real hierarchy had expected current boss Zinedine Zidane to give the midfielder more minutes in the first half of the season, but a breakdown in their relationship saw Odegaard push for a loan move away.
He has spoken publicly about his desire to find stability after four loan spells across Europe, and if Zidane remains in charge, he may well believe that remaining with Arsenal could be his best shot at finding consistency.