According to a recent report from AS, Newcastle United have made a January move for winger Gelson Martins. The 23-year-old currently plays his football at Spanish giants Atletico Madrid and has done so since the summer after leaving Portuguese heavyweights Sporting Lisbon, although struggles for regular game time under Diego Simeone this season has called his future in the Spanish capital into question.
And a recent report from AS suggests that Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle have tried their hands with a £4.3 million loan bid to lure the Portugal international to St James’ Park, and were they indeed able to seal a deal for the £18 million-rated wing wizard (as per Transfermarkt), it could finally rid them of awful Kenedy.
Ultimately, while this term hasn’t quite gone to plan for Martins with only eight La Liga appearances to his name for Atletico, he earned a move to the Wanda Metropolitano as a result of his excellent attacking exploits in the Primeira Liga with Sporting Lisbon.
The 23-year-old, capped 21 times by his country over the years, scored 27 goals and laid on 30 assists in 140 games for the Portuguese giants, and while those figures are far from breath-taking, much of his best football came in his final few seasons at the Estadio Jose Alvalade.
The winger bagged seven goals and laid on 14 assists in all competitions in the 2016/17 campaign as Sporting finished third in the Primeira Liga table behind fellow heavyweights Benfica and Porto, and while they again ended up third the season after, Martins improved in the final third of the field with 13 goals and 13 assists for Jorge Jesus’ side – clearly, he is a player on the upward trajectory.
And while things haven’t worked out for the 23-year-old at Atletico, that shouldn’t detract from what a quality player Martins is and looks set to be in the future, which is why the Magpies simply have to get a deal done for the Portuguese ace this month to not only equip them with a classy winger, but potentially to rid them of a lacklustre one in Kenedy.
Ultimately, one cannot knock the huge impact Kenedy had on Newcastle last season when he arrived on loan from Chelsea in January, with the Brazilian playing a key part in galvanising the Magpies to eventually pull clear of relegation to the dizzy heights of tenth place come the end of the Premier League season – last season, he was simply excellent.
And Newcastle fans were well within their rights to expect something similar this time round when they again loaned him from West London, only for the 22-year-old to seriously struggle in netting once and laying on just one assist in 18 league games for Benitez’s side.
In fact, the winger has failed to make Newcastle’s last two matchday squads to underline just how out-of-form the Brazilian is, but such are the lack of obviously better alternatives at Benitez’s disposal, it’s likely that Kenedy will get plenty of game time between now and the end of the season – yet that may not happen were Martins to arrive.
And that’s because, other than six months in Spain, the 23-year-old has certainly delivered in the last few years on the continent, and would likely arrive at St James’ Park with a point to prove after struggling at Atletico this term – it could be the recipe for great things from the Portuguese star.
And not only would it seriously bolster the Newcastle wing ranks, but it may go some way to finally ridding the Magpies of awful Kenedy.
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