Our look at some of the players that might be on Tottenham Hotspur Chariman Daniel Levy's imaginary shortlist continues with a young creative midfielder from France. Marvin Martin is a 23 year old French midfielder currently playing for Sochaux in Ligue 1.
France seems to be known for producing excellent number 10's, but since the retirement of Zinedine Zidane the search for the next great creative French midfielder has stalled. There have been candidates. Samir Nasri and Yoann Gourcuff come readily to mind. Martin is the newest challenger for Zidane's mantle. He announced himself as a candidate with two goals in his debut with France back in May.
If you haven't seen Martin play, here's a quick clip. He's an excellent technical midfielder and seems very confident on the ball. He seems rather slight at only 5'7" and 140 lbs. That's pretty much the same size as Luka Modric and based on the performances I've seen from Martin, that's probably the best comparison for him. Unfortunately, that's probably going to cause a problem. Martin is too good to sit on the bench behind Modric and at 23 he's at the age where he would want consistent first team football.
Martin would slot easily into Tottenham Hotspur's tactics. He essentially plays the same role for Sochaux as Modric plays for Spurs. Honestly, this kid is probably an ideal replacement for Modric, mostly because they are as identical as any two players I've ever seen. Martin maybe lacks a bit of Modric's physical strength and pace, but all his technical attributes are right on par with our diminutive Croatian.
Martin is capable of playing all across the midfield. He's most comfortable in the center of the park, but can play on the left and, if pressed, on the right flank. Martin has a high work rate. He works hard to get on the ball and once on it does a good job of dictating the tempo of the game. Martin, like Modric, isn't much of a goal threat, despite the two goals for France in his debut. Since the 2008 season Martin has registered only 11 goals, but his passing is really what sets him apart. Last season Martin registered 19 assists for Sochaux.
Martin signed a brand new contract in September, but it is believed to include a fairly reasonable release clause over the summer. Many teams are queuing up for the playmaker's services. Because he's French, I'm sure Arsenal would be interested in him and Liverpool can never have enough midfielders so they may be in for Martin as well. Sochaux currently are in 14th in Ligue 1 and if the side are again unable to force their way into European competition it's unlikely Martin will want to stay.
Martin wouldn't command terribly high wages. Probably somewhere around £30-£40,000 per week, but I'd imagine that a transfer fee for the youngster would probably approach £15 million. I know that Daniel Levy is inclined to buy younger players, and Martin seems to be first team ready, but having both Modric and Martin on the books makes little sense. A better bet would be a younger, less experienced, and cheaper player than Martin. That, however, is not going to stop me from dreaming. Plus, his name is Marvin Martin, which is almost Marvin Martian, who is the best Looney Toons character.