LIVERPOOL manager Jurgen Klopp is a big fan of Arsenal star Martin Odegaard.
Odegaard, 23, has stood out at the Gunners ever since 2021 when he joined on loan from Real Madrid before his permanent switch last summer.
The attacking midfielder is proving why he used to be considered as one of the hottest young prospects when he was a teenager before he signed for Real at the age of 17.
However, the Norway international struggled to break into the first team and was sent out on various loan stints to Heerenveen, Vitesse, Real Sociedad and of course Arsenal where he is now captain.
Klopp – whose side face him this weekend – admitted that he tried to sign Odegaard at Borussia Dortmund when he was in charge before the 23-year-old opted for Real instead.
The German tactician, whose team currently lacks flare in midfield, insists Odegaard shouldn’t regret turning him down as the challenges he faced turned him into the player he is today.
Klopp told TV2: “I really like him. It’s easy these days. It was a bit more difficult at the start of his career when he was at Real Madrid. Then it looked like it might not go his way.
“I was really disappointed by that, because we wanted him in Dortmund when he was very young.
“We had a long conversation when he was still a boy, together with his father.
“In the end he decided on Madrid, and that’s fine, but that’s why I’ve always followed him.
“You can only imagine how many talents, huge talents, crazy talents, I have seen over the course of quite a while in this industry.
“At the time, Martin was 15 years old and already playing in Norway. The whole world went berserk.
“Until he was 15, he probably experienced no hardship. After that, a lot of things went against him.
“It makes him the person he is now, the man he is now, and the player he is now.
“I’m really happy that he has now become the player we all expected him to become. In fact, even better than that, if you will. He plays a massive role in an incredibly strong Arsenal team.”