According to multiple reports, veteran Spanish center-back Inigo Martinez is set to join Barcelona this summer. Today, let’s take a brief look at the pros and cons of his signing.
Who is Inigo Martinez?
Inigo Martinez is a 31-year-old Spaniard who plays for Athletic Bilbao as a left-footed defender. Martinez’s latest market value is €18 million, and his current contract expires on June 30, 2023.
Career So Far
Martinez began his senior career with Real Sociedad B in 2009/10 and helped them gain promotion from the fourth division the following year. He made his first team and LaLiga debut with Basques on August 27, 201, in a 2-1 away win against Sporting de Gijon. Martinez scored his first league goal five weeks later in a 2-1 home loss to Athletic Bilbao. He remained the first choice in subsequent top-flight campaigns, helping Sociedad return to UCL for the first time in ten years in 2012/13. He made 205 first-team appearances for Real Sociedad, scoring 16 goals in the process.
Martinez joined Athletic Bilbao in January 2018 for €32 million as the replacement for Aymeric Laporte, who left for Manchester City. So far, he has made 149 appearances for the club, winning the Spanish Super Cup once and finishing second in the Copa Del Rey twice.
Despite suffering from injuries on a regular basis, Martinez is one of Spain’s most in-form center backs. The table below compares Martinez’s performance over the last 365 days to that of other center backs from Europe’s top five leagues.
|Per 90||+/- (Compared to Average)|
The table shows that he has been one of Europe’s best defenders over the last 365 days, and that he has been in great form recently.
Pros and Cons
Martinez’s exposure from playing in LaLiga’s top flight for more than a decade is one of the most useful aspects that Barcelona will earn if he gets signed. With Alba and Busquets on the verge of leaving, it will be vital to have someone like Martinez to lead the youngsters from the dressing room.
Injuries have been a massive drawback for Martinez over the years. He has missed 25 games due to eight injuries over the last three seasons. In total, Martinez has been injured 25 times, missing 66 games.
Despite the fact that he is approaching the end of his career, we still believe that Martinez will be a valuable asset to have. He can bring all of his experience to our dressing room and help lead our youngsters in the right direction. Moreover, he is a determined person who can serve as a cheat code to fix our flimsy mental intense moments.
Given Jordi Alba’s lack of involvement with the first team this season, a summer departure is on card. If that happens, Xavi can utilize Martinez as a backup left-back. However, his primary responsibility will be to lighten the load on Araujo, Kounde, and Christiensen.
In Spain, he was known as the legendary Carles Puyol’s compatriot. That honor was bestowed upon him due to his strong desire to give everything to whoever he plays with. Furthermore, he has been impactful with headers, particularly from set pieces. As a result, we believe that signing Inigo Martinez as a free agent will be a steal.
What do you think? Will Inigo Martinez be a good signing for Barcelona?