Football

In-focus: Javi Martinez

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Manchester City have today been linked with a move for highly-rated Atletico Bilbao midfielder Javi Martinez.

The 23-year-old has been a long-time target for Manchester United, with reports in Spain only a week ago claiming that Real Madrid were ready to go head-to-head with the Red Devils in an effort to land his signature.

Liverpool have also shown an interest in the past, with Kenny Dalglish reported to have considered a move last summer.

But, David Silva has urged big-spending City to make a move for the player, and GiveMeFootball decided it was time to put the transfer microscope on the talented youngster.
 

PROS

One of Spanish football's rising stars, Martinez captained his national U21 side to success at the 2011 Euro Championships and has already earned seven full international caps.

A versatile ball-winner, Martinez also has the ability to play at centre back, and could be moulded to play their permanently as was the case with Vincent Kompany at the Etihad Stadium.

A commanding presence at 6ft 3in, Martinez is powerful in both the tackle and the air, adding an addition presence and threat from set-pieces in particular. He has three goals in La Liga this season.

As is the case with all Spanish international's, the former Osasuna 'B' starlet is more than capable with the ball at his feet, and has racked up a number of assists for Los Leones during his five seasons as a professional.

He also has a clean bill of health over that period, making over 30 domestic appearances in each of the campaigns at San Mamés since joining the club.
 

CONS

Martinez's temperament provides the biggest question, with seven bookings and two red cards in 20 domestic appearances this season.

Valued at £25 million, that becomes an amplified risk given the length of suspensions that can be handed out in the Premier League for multiple misdemeanors.

Martinez also stressed his desire to stay with Athletic in November, putting a potential spanner in the works if a club can agree a fee with Marcelo Bielsa.
 

VERDICT

If Martinez can prove that ill-discipline isn't a major part of his game, then the Spaniard could be a perfect fit for all three clubs.

Martinez would add competition to Gareth Barry and Nigel de Jong for the Citizens, whilst Manchester United lack a classic defensive midfielder in the mould of Roy Keane. Liverpool have Jay Spearing, and Lucas Leiva normally plays in a midfield four when fit.

With over a decade of football in-front of him, Martinez also offers longevity alongside his price-tag, a factor which should be taken into account when considering the fee.

Given their financial might, City would appear in a strong position to land the player, although United have the money and history to make a strong challenge. Liverpool's lack of Champions League football could work against them if they can't secure fourth.

A summer move would suit any of the English clubs.

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Topics:
Football
Manchester City
Premier League
Manchester United
Liverpool

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