Josef Martinez has only played three MLS games, but Atlanta United have seen enough to keep him around on a permanent basis.
Atlanta announced on Tuesday the completion of a permanent transfer for the Venezuelan striker from Italian side Torino, who initially loaned Martinez to the expansion side in February. Already one of Atlanta’s Designated Players, Martinez has signed a multi-year contract with the club after racing out to an early lead in the 2017 MLS Golden Boot race with five goals in the first three games of the season.
“The loan deal had an option to make the transfer permanent which we have now triggered as planned,” Atlanta United president Darren Eales said in a club release. “Josef has been a fantastic addition to our club and it’s clear he has the ability to continuing making an impact in our league.”
Martinez bagged the league’s first hat trick of the season – and his club’s first ever – in Atlanta’s 6-1 win at Minnesota United on March 12, earning MLS Player of the Week honors. He followed that up with a well-takenbrace in Saturday’s 4-0 home win over Chicago, good for a spot in the MLS Team of the Week for Week 3. Atlanta have scored a league-leading 11 goals in their first three matches.
Currently with Venezuela’s national team on World Cup qualifying duty, Martinez played for Swiss clubs Young Boys and FC Thun and Caracas FC in his homeland before joining Torino in 2014.
MLS FANTASY PRICE:
Josef Martinez – Forward – $9.4
SIMILAR TO: Clint Dempsey, Kei Kamara, Nemanja Nikolic