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Whenever the transfer window comes close to reopening, a lot of youngsters get linked with big clubs. With the January window coming up, a similar situation has ensued this time and Sporting CP midfielder Gelson Martins’ name has come up quite a few times. Expected to join either Juventus or Liverpool, the attacking midfielder has been making waves with his performances so far.
Portugal international Martins already has 5 goals in all competitions and has been in remarkable form despite being so young. He is understood to have a £53.5million buyout clause in his contract and so it remains to be seen which club is willing to sign him in the end. Let’s take a closer look at the player’s profile.
Born in 1995 in Praia, Cape Verde, Martins moved to Portugal as a teenager and was a part of Benfica and Sporting Clube de Portugal. He played with them at youth levels and was then promoted to the B-team of the latter club, following which he signed a contract with them which was supposed to last until 2019. However, he could not play there in his preferred position as a winger but he still soldiered on and established himself. From then on, he rose through the ranks and was promoted to the club’s main squad in 2015.
The player is most noted for scoring Sporting’s 5000th goal in the competition last year and does seem like an interesting prospect. As far as his international career goes, Martins got his first call-up to the Portugal senior team in September last year for FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Faroe Islands.
Adept at holding onto the ball, Martins is strong at passing and dribbling. He has a penchant for playing short passes and commits fouls quite often. He is weak in the air but his other characteristics more than compensate for it. He can operate as a winger on both flanks but the right wing seems to be his preferred area. Interestingly, Martins can also play as a right-back and that proved to be a crucial reason behind his progress as a youth player. This will add a nice layer of versatility that can aid whichever team he signs for.
Interest from Juventus and Liverpool will come as a major boost to the youngster’s confidence. He still has a long way to go in order to grow further but he can truly hope to achieve greater things at either of these two clubs. He could play as a deputy for Mohamed Salah at Liverpool, whereas at Juventus, he could do the same for Juan Cuadrado.