Scout Report: Gelson Martins
Date of Birth: May 11, 1995 (20 Yrs)
Current Club: Sporting Lisbon
Current Transfer Value: €5million (Credit – TransferMarket)
It is a common practice for Alcochete academy to produce homegrown wingers who go on to play for Sporting Lisbon and Portugal. However, every now and then there comes a special player who manages to outshine the others and leave his mark on Portuguese football.
In recent years we have seen the likes of Ricardo Quaresma, Nani, Simao Sabrosa, and obviously, Cristiano Ronaldo graduate from Sporting’s academy and achieve greater heights. Carrying the trend Gelson Martins is next in line to follow the same career path after leaving everyone stunned with his debut season with Sporting.
Amid the recent buzz and excitement surrounding the 19-year old winger, we took a closer look at Gelson Martins’ playing style, weaknesses and future prospects as a professional footballer.
Gelson Martins: A brief history
Born in the Portuguese colony of Cape Verde, Gelson Martins moved to Lisbon as a teenager. After playing two years for Benfica, Martins took the call of switching allegiance and joining country’s best academy.
Since his move to Sporting, the 19-year old winger has progressed from the Under-17 to Under-19 to Sporting’s B team and now to the Senior side.
Gelson Martins made a name for himself during the 2013/14 UEFA European U19 Championships and then at FIFA U20 World Cup last summer. His performances were hard to ignore for the new Sporting manager Jorge Jesus who promoted him to the senior squad where he is a regular feature now.
Gelson Martins: Style of play and strengths
First impression of Gelson Martins would leave you awe-strucked with his tremendous speed and dribbling abilities. It makes him a huge threat in one-on-one situations where he can go past the defenders with ease.
Despite having the ability to play from both the flanks, Martins is best suited to start from the right wing where he likes to get his crosses in and create chances. Martins is quite comfortable holding the ball and bringing others in to play as well.
At times, he is comfortable in drifting inside and showing his quick touch pass and movement and the occasional shot from distance. He has a mean left-foot, which he is never shy of using either.
There are obvious comparisons between Gelson Martins and Nani as both the players hail from Cape Verde and have similar playing style. While wing-play and dribbling are their strong suite, goal-scoring is something they would love to work on.
Gelson Martins: Weaknesses to be worked upon
As stated just now, Gelson Martins needs to work on goal scoring more than any other facet of his game. His dribbling takes him in dangerous areas more often than not but his lack of finishing seem him miss too many chances.
Another expected shortcoming of his game is the desire to do everything on his own. He is good at creating chances on his own but he needs to learn the art of playing with his teammates as well.
As compared to the other 19-year old world-beaters, Gelson Martins lacks in physical strength as well. He gets shielded off the ball easily and would need to work on muscle building in coming seasons.
Gelson Martins: What does the future hold?
Sporting Lisbon have inserted a €60million buy-out clause to his contract which runs until the end of 2021. Safe to say, Gelson Martins has a long future at Estádio José Alvalade.
His playing style is something which Portuguese league promotes and it will really speed up his developments. While he certainly possesses the necessary skills to go on and become a top player, he needs to work on his weaknesses in near future.
Next step for Gelson Martins would be to start every game for Sporting Lisbon next season and break in to Portugal’s senior squad. He is at a club where youngsters are given all he freedom to express themselves and that is what will help him become a top player in near future.
Image Credit: Getty, Video Credit: Youtube