Writer: Charlie Bennett
Date:Wednesday July 1 2009
Stoke midfielder Seyi Olofinjana has urged striker Obafemi Martins to join him at Stoke. The Newcastle striker has been rumoured with a 6million pound move away from St James`s, with teams such as Aston Villa and Tottenham prepared to launch a bid.
Olofinjana, who plays alongside Martins for Nigeria, believes the 24year old would be perfect for the Potters saying "He is a very good striker who would improve our attack. I hope he joins us".
Martins joined Newcastle from Italian giants Inter Milan in August 2006 for a reported fee of 10million pounds and signed a 5year contract. During his successful debut season on Tyneside he found the net on 17 occasions in 46 games, his most memorable goal coming away at Tottenham in-which he turned with his back to goal and let fly a powerful drive from 20 yards that flew into the top corner. The speed of his effort was clocked at 84mph.
Injury and less first team opportunities hampered him during his second season as he dropped behind Mark Viduka and Michael Owen in the pecking order. Despite this he still helped himself to 10 goals in 33 appearances albeit most coming off the bench. Injury again ruined much of the 2008/2009 season as he scored only 8 goals as Newcastle were relegated; the toon evidently seriously missed his firepower upfront.
For his country Martins has been twice named African young player of the year award and has netted 13 times in 24 appearances since his debut 5 years ago at the age of 19.
Certainly a mega signing if Pulis can wheel his magic then, as another big name star is linked with a move to the Brit as others such as Michael Owen, Dean Ashton and Richard Dunne have turned many heads. In reality though his asking price of 6-7 million pounds may just see the Potters priced out of a move as bigger richer clubs from both England and the rest of Europe are homing in on the Nigerian.
Other transfer rumours from the Potters has seen them rekindle their interest in Haminu Dramani and the rumours linking Stoke with Habib Beye are still at large. Although admittedly they are more realistic captures they don`t make you as excited as the name Obafemi Martins.
Date:Wednesday July 1 2009
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