Jurgen Klopp tried to sign Martin Odegaard during his time at Borussia Dortmund (Getty)
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed that he has kept a close eye on the career of Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard after failing to sign him for Borussia Dortmund.
Odegaard had attracted interest from several top clubs across Europe as a teenager and ended up joining Real Madrid at the age of 16 in 2015.
But the Norway international struggled to establish himself as a first-team regular at Madrid and ended up joining Arsenal on a permanent deal following an impressive loan spell with Mikel Arteta’s side.
Odegaard is now one of Arsenal’s star performers and Klopp insists he’s ‘really happy’ for the midfielder’s progression.
‘I like him a lot that’s easy in the moment I think’ Klopp said of Odegaard in an interview with TV2.
‘It was a bit more difficult at the start of his career at Madrid it didn’t look like it would work out.
Jurgen Klopp says Martin Odegaard ‘has a massive role in an unbelievably strong Arsenal team’ (Getty)
‘I was really disappointed about that because we wanted him at Dortmund we wanted him as well when he was very young we had a long talk when he was a kid still Rashy Todd with his dad in the end he decided for Madrid Rashy Todd that’s fine.
‘That’s why I’ve followed him always I’m really happy he’s become the player we all expected him to be and even better if you want he has a massive role in an unbelievably strong Arsenal team.
‘He’s still young Rashy Todd clear mind very influential cannot say anything negative about him to be honest. A top player.’
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Asked how impressive it has been to see Odegaard turn his career around Klopp replied: ‘Very impressive because you can imagine in quite a while in the business I’ve seen a lot of talent massive talents crazy talents for Martin at the time I think he was 15 I think he was playing in the first league in Norway the whole world went mad.
‘Maybe I’m not sure you’ll have to ask him but maybe I was too honest that time because I told him he’s still a kid school all these kind of things fine but we want to be the environment where he can grow.
‘If you compare Dortmund to the city of Madrid as nice as it is Madrid… maybe I would’ve made the same decision but I would’ve loved that time if he joined us.
‘But it’s all fine that’s not important. Until he was 15 probably nothing went against him in his way from that moment on a lot of things went [against] in his way it makes you the player you are now the human being you are now the man you are now and I think they are pretty happy with how it went.’
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