El Centrocampista


We may only be a few hours into a new year but already the rumour and speculation is growing as the transfer window throws open it doors to all and sundry.

Among the most intriguing stories involves one of the hottest young talents in Spanish football, Iñigo Martinez

If persistent reports are to be believed, the 20-year-old Real Sociedad defender is set to be the subject of a three-way battle between Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid, who are all monitoring the progress of the highly-rated youngster.

How accurate these claims are, only time will tell but what is true is that it has been a meteoric rise for the Basque centre-back.

A new inclusion in La Real’s squad for the 2011/12 season, Martinez made his senior debut during the opening day victory at Sporting Gijon, and has become a mainstay in the side ever since.

Relatively small for a central defender, 5’9″ Martinez is a typical, modern player who is comfortable with the ball at his feet and possesses a good range of passing.

He also has an eye for goal, having already hit three so far this season – including two almost identical wonder strikes from inside his own half.

The first came during the Basque derby against Athletic Club Bilbao in October.

Martinez showed great awareness to strike a ball over the head of los leones’ goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz from the edge of the centre circle, although his side went on to lose the game 2-1.

Just six weeks later, and Martinez was at it again when he found the net against Real Betis from near the left side touchline in his own half.

To score one such goal would be a fine achievement, but to do it twice in the space of such a short space of time almost defies belief.

To add to the drama, the strike against Betis came in the 90th minute and won the game 3-2.


Left-footed Martinez came through the B team at the San Sebastian club, after beginning his career at home-town outfit Club Deportivo Aurrera de Ondarroa, and spent two seasons in the second string until Philip Montanier drafted him into the senior side in August.

Currently tied to a contract which expires in the summer of 2015, Martinez is believed to have a hefty buyout clause of €25 million, but his club would probably listen to offers below that mark.

As to be expected for a player who has made such an impact this season, there have been a host of scouts visiting the Anoeta to check on the youngster, however it seems unlikely Martinez would be allowed to leave until the end of the season – especially as his side struggle near the foot of the table.

It is uncertain where the Spanish under 21 international’s future lies, but what is certain is that it is one that lies away from Real Sociedad.

Whether that is in Manchester, Barcelona or Madrid, who can say.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Follow us and get La Liga news right in your feed!