Gonzalo Nicolas Martinez: the replacement for Felipe Anderson?
Many reports have gone back and forth over the past few years for Lazio’s Felipe Anderson: all Premier League based clubs – from Manchester United last season, to Antonio Conte’s Chelsea and West Ham this year. However, with a deal now complete for a move to the Hammers and the London Stadium, many questions have been raised about who the man will be to replace the Brazilian attacker.
A month ago, La Gazzetta dello Sport revealed that Lazio had initiated contacts with the agent of Gonzalo Nicolas Martinez – River Plate’s offensive midfielder, and this morning (July 16th), new rumours emerged from Radio Continental stating that the players agent was in Rome to discuss a transfer. However, further into the day, the agent has told LaLazioSiamoNoi that he was actually in London – not Rome.
Born in Argentina with Italian ancestry, Martinez played for Huracán before moving in January of 2015 to River Plate for £3.60m (both in the Primera División). Now 25 years of age, he managed 7 goals and 4 assists in 22 matches played this past season, most at the center attacking midfield / secondary striking position.
What would he bring to Lazio? A left footed player, Martinez would bring a special touch to the biancocelesti, who have all right-footed attackers currently. His long shot ability is similar to that of Felipe Anderson and Antonio Candreva, as he is not afraid to release a 30 to 40 yard screamer towards the opponent’s goal. With brilliant dribbling and ball control, Martinez is able to start-up an attack, and follow through with it to finish the play, which leads to his next positive trait – his finishing. Looking at the goals from the past year only, they have all been intelligent: from chips, free kicks, penalties, close range strikes, and strikes from distance – he knows how to put away chances if the opportunity is given to him. In addition, he loves to take on his man, similar to that of Messi cutting the ball back or moving side-to-side to but the ball through opponents legs.
A perfect choice for Lazio, his value currently sits at £13.50m.