Javi Martinez

{Profile Updated 05/07/2012}

Date of Birth: - 2nd September 1988

Height: - 6ft 3inches

Position: - Defensive Midfielder (but is extremely versatile and played CB fairly regularly last season).

Nationality: - Spanish.

Current Club: - Athletic Bilbao

Estimated Market Value: - If Javi could be persuaded to leave, then the fee would be no less than 30 million pounds - as Bilbao have no reason to sell.

Linked with: - Inter Milan

- Manchester City

- Manchester United

- Real Madrid

- Bayern Munich

- Barcelona

Club Statistics

Athletic Bilbao:

2006/2007 season - 36 appearances, 3 goals and 1 assist.

2007/2008 season - 36 appearances, 0 goals and 1 assist.

2008/2009 season - 41 appearances, 6 goals and 1 assist.

2009/2010 season - 46 appearances, 9 goals and 2 assists.

2010/2011 season - 38 appearances, 4 goals and 1 assist.

2011/2012 season - 54 appearances, 4 goals and 1 assist.

TOTAL - 251 appearances, 26 goals and 7 assists.

General Comments:

Javi Martinez is certainly one of the best up-and-coming young players in Europe (if not the world) to date, and with every game he seems to impress more and more people. I can safely say that every time i've seen him play he's done nothing but control the midfield with absolute ease.

As Ed001 has said, Martinez is one of the best young players in Europe, and I have to back that up. Although Martinez is a defensive midfielder, he is that good of a player that Bilbao have depended upon him not only in his own position, but as of recent, in the CB position. The thing which backs up for me personally that he's performed so well, is that people actually think his natural position is a CB, well I can tell you it isn't - but that's to the extent which he has impressed. He just oozes class.

When Bilbao play without him, they look an entirely different team as they don't have that 'rock' in the midfield (or in defense) to anchor possession and to create opportunities. I would say that Martinez makes the Bilbao team tick, whether it's leading from the middle, or from the back, as he just seems to really connect that team. We all know about the prowess of the likes of Muniain, Susaeta, DeMarcos, Llorente etc, but for me, without Martinez in the side, there is no other player that really shines out - he is their talisman, and in most cases, their unsung talisman.

I would say that defensively he is extremely solid (in both defense and midfield) and I'd say interceptions and tackling are his best attributes with regards to defending - and he does a bloomin' good job of it to be honest!

In order to attempt to balance out the positives with the negatives, I would say that perhaps he needs to be a little more selfish sometimes and really run at defenses himself, as when I watch him I can't feel that he feels held back - like he's indeed to disciplined that he doesn't feel like he can have some freedom of attacking movement etc- but I suppose you could argue that this shows brilliant commitment on his behalf, to sacrafice his own 'happiness' so to speak, in order for his team to go on and win (or in other words, to help his team get a result).

Would Javi Cut it in the Premier League? - Yes, without doubt. Javi is top top quality and would walk into any PL side.

The Business End of the Profile.

To be perfectly honest, Javi Martinez shouldn't leave Bilbao yet in my honest opinion. I think one more season in La Liga and then a move to the PL would be best, just to let him get a little bit more experience and almost get his mindset correct for the PL. However, for me it is not certain that he will stay. Although persuading him to leave Bilbao will be difficult, I believe that it is very possible at this time - but for which team? Well I believe Man Utd and Man City have the best chances to sign him to be honest, but to be more specific than that, Manchester City are looking for a replacement for Nigel De Jong, and they are seriously looking at Martinez at the minute (after failing to persuade Javi Garcia), and I've been informed that it looks very possible that Javi could be playing in a sky-blue shirt next season - however, I refuse to rule out United, but for me the only issue would be the fee, as it would be pretty extortionate. With this in mind, I would say that it looks more probable that Javi will join Manchester City out of all of the teams mentioned - but this is only if a fee can be agreed, and if Javi himself can be persuaded - but if City manage to do this, I believe they'll be getting one of the best players in Europe to date.

Thanks all,