Udinese did some delightful transfer business recently by signing Matheus Martins from Fluminense on a permanent deal. With a reported valuation of €6 million, the 19-year-old’s transfer to Udinese is the second-most expensive deal to happen in Serie A in the 2023 winter transfer window. Regarded as a wide forward with exceptional technique and pace, he came through the Fluminense academy before breaking into the first team, where he made 37 league appearances and scored three goals. He also netted a hat-trick in his only Copa Sudamericana appearance, against Oriente Petrolero.
After signing him on a five-year deal, Udinese have loaned Martins out to Watford FC until the end of the season to aid his development. With Watford, the Brazilian youngster has already made four appearances in the EFL Championship in 2022–23 and provided one assist thus far. Despite his young age, he has experienced playing for the first team to a great extent over the past year. Below we look at some of his stats from his time in the Brazilian top flight and the English second division currently.
Primarily a left-sided attacking forward, Matheus Martins can also play in any position across the front line. He made 30 appearances for Fluminense in the recent season of Brazilian Serie A, starting in 17 matches. He scored three goals and provided five assists for the team. The above viz shows the percentile rank of Martins’ stats from the Brazilian Serie A 2022/23 compared to other left-attacking forwards. It can be observed that the 19-year-old ranks highly in all of the attacking indicators, especially dribbles and opposition penalty area touches. The player also contributes defensively to the team, as evidenced by his high rank for defensive duels won and positioning. Overall, he also possesses decent stats in the passing department.
Gameplay in possession
The above viz illustrates the player’s heat map from the recently concluded Brazilian Serie A season and the ongoing EFL Championship. It can be observed that the young forward shows high intensity in the final third, particularly on the flanks. He covers more ground in the opposition’s half but is also active inside his own half while tracking back. Currently, Martins averages 34.29 passes per match with 82.1% accuracy and also receives 26 passes from teammates. He also averages 3.8 touches in the opposition’s penalty area and makes 2.41 progressive runs per match.
Matheus Martins remains mobile in the advanced attacking areas. He possesses some key qualities of a good winger, which include dribbling and crossing ability. Martins performs these attacking actions deep in the final third, as evidenced by the concentration of attempted dribbles near either flank and inside the penalty area. He also sends in a decent amount of crosses into the box from the flanks. Matheus averages as many as 6.3 dribbles per match with a 44.7% success rate and delivers 3.08 crosses with a 31.7% success rate. He creates scoring chances for himself and his teammates by performing these winger actions.
These dribbles in the opposition half have helped the young Brazilian win 50 fouls for both teams combined, including two in the penalty box leading to penalty kicks. He has also won a few free-kicks in the attacking third as well. Currently, he gets fouled 2.31 times by the opposition per match.
The above viz shows the player’s shot map from the matches he has played for Fluminense and Watford. He scored three goals with a total xG value of 5.22. He has attempted 50 shots, with the majority of them coming from inside the penalty area, and has also scored all the goals from inside the box. The Brazilian winger takes an average of 2.31 shots per match with an accuracy rate of 26.7% and currently clocks an xG value of 0.23 per match.
Apart from scoring goals, Matheus Martins also contributes to the team by creating scoring opportunities for others. He provided five assists for Fluminense last term and has registered one assist for Watford thus far, with a total xA 3.71. From the shot assist viz. above, it can be observed that most of the chances he created were through accurate layoffs and crosses delivered into the box or taken from inside the box. One of his assists has come from a corner delivery. Overall, the player averages 1.23 shot assists per match and has created two big chances.
Another way in which Matheus contributes to the team is by recovering the ball in the attacking half. The 19-year-old makes 4.25 recoveries per 90 minutes. He has made 50.6% of these recoveries in the attacking half, including seven inside the opposition penalty box that has led to a shot.
Most of the indicators show Matheus Martins might become a player of top quality for Udinese in the near future, and the loan spell at Watford is the perfect opportunity to launch himself in a tough European league. The young forward comes with great potential and has a set of distinct skill sets in attack and possession. He is also a player who contributes defensively and is one of the talents to look out for in the future.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine