Liverpool are being linked with a summer move for Sporting CP winger Gelson Martins. According to recent reports, the Reds target has a €60m release clause which can only be activated until the 2018 FIFA World Cup which kicks off in Russia later this year. After that, any of his potential suitors will have to cough up a fee in agreement with Sporting CP directly, with the club set to demand a much bigger price for their prized asset.
It is believed that Liverpool are among a whole host of clubs, which includes Barcelona and Bayern Munich, who are monitoring his situation in Portuguese football and could be tempted to make an offer in the near future. Here is a detailed scout report of the 22-year-old Liverpool target:
Full name – Gelson Dany Batalha Martins
Date of birth – 11/05/1995 (age 22)
Born In – Praia, Cape Verde
Height – 1.73m (5ft 8in)
Position – Right Winger
Current Club: Sporting CP (124 apps/ 24 goals)
National team: Portugal (15 caps/ 0 goals)
Gelson Martins began his career at Futebol Benfica, before making a switch to the Sporting academy back in 2010. Five years later, he broke into the Sporting CP senior team and has enjoyed a fantastic first campaign with seven goals in 42 matches for the Portuguese giants. He has been in sensational form this season, scoring 10 goals and providing 10 assists in 36 matches for Sporting CP in all competitions.
Jorge Jesus, Sporting CP head coach: “He’s going to fail you a few times, but he’s already at a level that can give you very good things. From the kids I worked with at Benfica and Sporting, he is the most talented I felt. He is a player for very high levels.”
Domingos Estanislau, Futebol Benfica president: “Gelson Martins will be the future Cristiano Ronaldo.”
Martins’ playing style is similar to how Cristiano Ronaldo used to play during his youth career. The 22-year-old is highly versatile and can operate on either wing. However, he primarily operates on the right side of the midfield and has incredible pace and acceleration which helps him dribble with the ball out of tight spaces and cause havoc in the opposition third. He is a classic winger who likes to beat his man and put in crosses from wide areas. One of his best traits which makes him an ideal fit for Liverpool is his work-rate off the ball. Gelson’s defensive work-rate of 1.8 tackles per game in 2016/17 season was the sixth highest tally in the Sporting squad.
Martins can be one dimensional with his approach to the game at times which indicates that he can only be used as a wide man who can beat his marker and put in some good crosses into the box. His decision making in crucial situations leaves a lot to be desired and has some room for improvement as well. At a club like Liverpool, he will be required to think on his feet and utilise his teammates more effectively in order to fit Jurgen Klopp’s counter-pressing style of football.
It remains to be seen what lies ahead in the future of the Sporting CP ace and whether he ends up making a move to the Premier League in the near future.
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