Name: David Martínez
Club: Monagas SC
Position(s): RW, LW, AM
Preferred Foot: Left
Strengths: creativity, finishing, ball-striking, 1v1s, technique
Areas for Development: consistency, experience, defensive ability
At 17 years of age, David Martínez is the future of Venezuelan football. A clinical finisher with good ball striking, an agile dribbler, a creative force with lots of flair & technique, the right winger has the makings of a top prospect and is already landing himself on the radar of several European clubs. Having made his debut just weeks after turning 16, he is already established as one of Monagas’ most dangerous players in attack.
The Venezuelan possesses good vision & composure in the attacking third and loves to play through balls or lofted passes over the top of the opponent’s defence to create chances for teammates. He also has great finishing ability with variance to his ball-striking techniques. Martínez often opts for a curved shot from distance with the inside of his boot using defenders to guide his shot into the top corner, but he’s also got the ability to strike it through the laces and generate power on his shots.
He is a clinical finisher and a creative winger who excels in 1v1 situations, skilled at taking on his man and creating separation, boasting the flair and trickery to wriggle his way past fullbacks before whipping in a deadly cross. As far as room for improvement goes, he isn’t blessed with electric pace, and by adding more speed to his game and physicality, he could become even more lethal and versatile.
It’s also clear that his defensive work rate needs improving as he’s mainly focused on his work in the final third, and the other facets will simply come with time and experience, molding him into a more balanced, consistent player who can handle the mental side of the game. However, at 17, he’s already emerged as a Swiss Army Knife in Monagas’ attack, earning the attention of The Guardian who included him in their 60 best players from the class of 2006.
A technically proficient winger with impressive ball-striking ability, a strong weak foot and a creative hub for his teammates, Martínez is clearly too good for Venezuela’s top-flight, and with his 18th birthday just weeks away, a transfer to Europe is surely only a matter of time. Doing so could land him on the radar of Venezuela manager Fernando Batista, who has led them to fourth in World Cup qualifying with 9 points from 6 matches and who is looking to erase La Vinotinto’s legacy as the only South American team who has failed to play in the World Cup.
He had just turned 16 when he was called up for the Venezuela senior team, failing to make a single appearance, whilst 2023 saw him play in the U-20 South American U-20 Championship as well as captain his nation to glory in the U-17 Championship, sending them to the U-20 World Cup. Plenty of European sides including Ajax have already registered interest in the teenage winger, and it seems that 2024 will not only see Martínez make his debut for Venezuela, but also make the move across the Atlantic.
By: Ben Mattinson / @Ben_Mattinson_
Featured Image: @GabFoligno / Javier Torres / AFP