Javi Martinez has moved to Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich on a 5-year contract today.
The central mid-fielder was praised as one of the two most important stars of the Athletic Bilbao team that qualified for the Spanish Copa Del Rey and Europa League finals, but will spend his next 5 seasons chasing “bigger” titles in the Alianz Arena.
He mainly plays as a central mid-fielder where he controls the flow of the game by making good, solid passes. He was also used as a central defender multiple times and was very effective in that role. It will be interesting to see where Jupp Heynckes will install him in the Bayern line-up.
With Schweinsteiger already in the central mid-field Martinez may have been confined to the bench had he just been a mid-fielder. Luckily he can play in two places, which means that he can fill in, in both places when needed.
Javi Martinez plays a very controlled and calm match. He works well under pressure and you will rarely catch him making a mistake. He does not score a lot of goals (22 for Bilbao in over 200 matches), but that is still a high number for a player playing mostly in defensive positions.
His passes is what makes him unique and what made the Athletic Bilbao mid-field tick last season and with Bayern he will definitely keep the ball rolling.
He plays very consistently, but rarely really sticks out in a crowd. Which brings up another question…
Is he worth the German transfer record?
With a reported 40 million euro fee agreed upon, Javi Martinez will have broken the Bundesliga transfer record and became one of the most expensive mid-fielders in history.
He was arguably Bilbao’s best player last season, that Bilbao side won no titles, but surrounded by the world-class players might just be what he needs to become the best mid-fielder in the world.
He certainly has the potential, but with all of the current amazing play-makers it might be a while before he gets an assured place in the Spanish National team and a spot amongst the worlds elite.
He might not be worth 40 million to most people right now, but in a couple of seasons 40 million might look like a steal.
Written by Deon Beauzec
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