Carlo Ancelotti says that teenager midfielder Martin Odegaard will be included in Real Madrid’s squad to face Almeria
MADRID, SPAIN (APRIL 28, 2015) (REUTERS) – Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Tuesday (April 28) that teenager midfielder Martin Odegaard will be included in the squad to face lowly Almeria in the league.
Real have been depleted by injuries in recent weeks and with Luka Modric, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale out Ancelotti has called on Odegaard and two other Real Madrid B team players, Borja Mayoral and Diego Llorente, to fill in for them.
“Tomorrow three players from Real Madrid B team will be in the squad. (Martin) Odegaard, (Borja) Mayoral and Diego Llorente. I think two out of the three are going to be on the bench so they might have a chance to play,” the Italian coach said.
Real agreed to sign Odegaard from Stromsgodset in January for an undisclosed fee, but Spanish media reported they had agreed to pay around three million euros ($3.5 million) for the 16-year-old.
Javier Hernandez further boosted his chances of making his loan move from Manchester United permanent when he followed up his match-winning Champions League performance in midweek with a La Liga double in a victory over Celta Vigo.
The Mexico striker known as ‘Chicharito’ (little pea) struck a late winner to earn a 1-0 victory over Atletico Madrid in Europe’s elite club competition on Wednesday before helping Real to a 4-2 success at Celta Vigo that kept them hard on the heels of leaders Barcelona with five matches left.
Hernandez has spent most of the season on the bench after arriving from parent club Manchester United in September but coach Carlo Ancelotti was forced to draft him into the side following injuries to France striker Karim Benzema and Wales winger Gareth Bale.
While Benzema and Bale are likely to come straight back into the side once fit, Hernandez, who has made a habit of scoring off the bench during his club career, has shown he is a useful weapon to have in reserve.
Real have an option to make the 26-year-old’s season-long loan permanent for a fee of 10 million euros (7.15 million pounds), according to Spanish media.
Asked about the future of the Mexican, Ancelotti said he would discuss the issue of making Hernandez’s loan move permanent with Real officials at the end of the season.
“I think it is an issue we will address at the end of the season. I like the season he (Javier Hernandez) is having, his professionalism. He enjoyed the time he had so he is showing a very high level of professionalism. It is important for a coach to have these kinds of players that are ready to take every chance,” he said.
Real Madrid have never won the Spanish treble and are fighting tooth and nail in La Liga to prevent arch-rivals Barcelona scooping Champions League and domestic league and Cup titles for a second time.
Barca became the first, and so far only, Spanish side to achieve the feat in 2009 and with coach Luis Enrique in his first year at the helm are well placed for a repeat performance with five matches left in La Liga.
Real have what is possibly the tougher run-in to the end of the campaign, with their trip to Sevilla followed by a game at home at Valencia, the Champions League holders also face Juventus in the semi-final of this years competition.
“We have a complicated schedule. Tomorrow we play against Almeria then Sevilla, Juventus, Valencia, Juventus. So very difficult matches. We are confident we can do well. We will soon have the injured players back. The squad is well, fresh and we can compete in every match. We will see, we are not thinking if Barca is going to miss points, we will try to win every game,” Ancelotti said.
Real are likely to have forwards Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema back for next week’s first leg at Juventus, who are making their first appearance in the semis for 12 years.
In La Liga second-placed Real are two points behind Barcelona, who host mid-table Getafe on Tuesday.