The 21-year-old has been thoroughly impressive this season at Sociedad and is expected to return to the Spanish capital and make an impact on the first team next campaign. The Norwegian has spent the last three seasons on loan, firstly at Heerenveen, then at Vitesse, where Slutsky was his boss. The veteran Russian coach says that Odegaard had other options after his good year at Vitesse, with Liverpool making an offer for him last year.

‘His time at Vitesse has been very important,’ explained Slutsky. ‘He became one of the best players in the Eredivisie and had many offers in his pocket. Not only from Real Sociedad, but also from Liverpool and Ajax. ‘It is an honour to have had a share in Martin’s growth as a footballer.’