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Real Madrid's Martin Odegaard joins Heerenveen on 18-month loan

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Martin Odegaard has pledged to "prove what he can do" after joining Dutch side Heerenveen on loan from Real Madrid until June 2018.

Odegaard, 18, was unveiled to the media on Tuesday after the Eredivisie club announced they had reached an agreement for his temporary transfer.

The Norwegian attacking midfielder, who failed to break into Zinedine Zidane's senior squad, is eager to earn regular playing time and said: "I just want to say that I'm very happy and that this is an opportunity for me to show can I do. I'm very excited."

Odegaard had been strongly linked with a move to Rennes since the summer but believes he has made the right choice in moving to Netherlands.

"I heard great things about this club and what they expected from me," he said. "The most important thing is my development and that is why I'm here.

"Real Madrid is the best club in the world but the best play there and that is why I decided to come here."

Odegaard has played just one game for Real Madrid in La Liga -- a 7-3 victory over Getafe last season -- since joining the Bernabeu outfit in January 2015 from Stromsgodset.

He earned his first senior start for Real in a Copa del Rey home win over La Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa in November.

The highly rated midfielder, who is under contract with Los Blancos until June 2021, does not regret his decision to move to Real at the age of 16.

"I chose Real Madrid then because I wanted to learn from the best players," Odegaard said.

Heerenveen are fourth in the Eredivisie, with 29 points from 19 matches.

Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.

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