A member of Spain's 2018 FIFA World Cup squad, Alvaro Odriozola was fitted out with a six-year contract when he joined Real Madrid in 2018. While things may not yet have gone as planned in the Spanish capital, a move to Bayern Munich is expected to reignite the Spaniard's reputation as one of the hottest full-back prospects in Europe.
bundesliga.com takes a closer look at Bayern's winter loan signing from Madrid…
Club: Bayern Munich (on loan from Real Madrid)
Country: Spain (4 caps, 1 goal)
Odriozola emerged from the Real Sociedad academy and made his debut in Spain's La Liga midway through the 2016/17 campaign, at the age of 21. He held down a regular place in the Basque club's starting XI for 18 months, attracting the attention of many of Europe's top clubs. He also caught the eye of then Spain coach Julen Lopetegui, who handed him his senior Spain debut prior to his 22nd birthday, in a 3-0 FIFA World Cup qualifying win over Albania.
Convinced by his impressive statistics, which included an outstanding pass accuracy of over 90 per cent and 128 crosses in the 2017/18 season – the second highest in La Liga – Real activated a release clause in his Real Sociedad contract. It was a substantial investment in a player destined to provide competition to former Bayer Leverkusen full-back Dani Carvajal.
Odriozola's final year in his home town of San Sebastian was also convincing enough for Lopetegui to name him in his final 23-man squad for the World Cup, although he did not ultimately make any appearances in Russia.
In his first season for Los Blancos, the 5'10" full-back made 22 appearances. He scored once in the Copa del Rey – a competition in which he provided five of his nine season assists – and gained his first UEFA Champions League experience with three group-stage outings.
Plays a bit like: Achraf Hakimi
Odriozola shares a lot in common with another man who has left Real Madrid for a Bundesliga boost: Achraf Hakimi. Like the Borussia Dortmund full-back, Bayern's new signing is a threat going forward, overlapping well and delivering deadly crosses from advanced positions. His game awareness and anticipation is a particular quality in high-speed situations, with his slender stature aiding him with his dribbling runs from deep. Oh, and he just happened to take Hakimi's No19 jersey in Madrid too.
Did you know?
On his Spain debut, Odriozola provided the assist for his new teammate Thiago Alcantara's first senior Spain goal.
Odriozola has not scored in four seasons in La Liga, yet it took him just three caps before opening his account for Spain. He netted in a 1-1 friendly draw with Switzerland, scoring past current Borussia Mönchengladbach custodian Yann Sommer.
What they're saying
"He's a very responsible player who always gives everything he's got, and he'll be one of the quickest players in La Liga." – Jokin Aperribay, president of Real Sociedad.
"I like him a lot – [Real] have the two best right full-backs in Spain, the two best Spanish right full-backs [in Odriozola and Carvajal]. They are both spectacular full-backs." – Michel Salgado, former Real Madrid full-back.
"We're convinced that Alvaro Odriozola will help our team with his qualities. I'm pleased we've managed to find such a full-back." – Hasan Salihamidzic, Bayern Munich director of sport.