Jackson Martinez was hot property in the transfer market this summer. The 28-year-old Colombian International was widely tipped to leave Porto this summer for an elite European club after three highly successful seasons with the Portuguese giants , where he netted 67 goals in 90 games. It finally seemed the time was right for the highly coveted marksman to leave the Estadio Dragao which he joined in 2012, and several top European clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea , AC Milan and Atletico Madrid were mooted as potential destinations.
It is however the latter who have won the race for the striker’s signature with Martinez himself confirming the news in the aftermath of Colombia’s exit from the Copa America at the hands of Argentina.
The striker stated :
“I can confirm I am going to Atletico.”
He added : “I am going there for four years, but I still don’t know when I will be introduced.”
He seemingly rejected concrete approaches from Milan and Chelsea in the process of signing for Atletico. The news will come as a setback for Chelsea who were willing to bring the Colombian to Stamford Bridge to supplement their strike force. Though the Blues already have a highly accomplished target man in Diego Costa and an able back up in Loic Remy, Costa’s hamstring problems are well documented and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho himself admitted that the striker struggles to play thrice a week. This was the reason why the Blues were actively seeking to bring in Martinez to provide additional fire power , especially with third choice striker and Blues Legend Didier Drogba also leaving the club this summer.
With Martinez gone, Mourinho may have to cast his net somewhere else for a top quality striker. The problem, however , stems from the fact that not many are available and those that were, are already close to signing for someone else. Mandzukic has signed for Juventus, and so has Dybala. Meanwhile, Luciano Vietto has joined Martinez in moving to Atletico. Bacca is close to joining Liverpool, whereas Tevez is expected to return to Boca Juniors. Apart from these, others like Griezmann, Sterling , etc are expected to command a premium price.
There is a very real scenario where Chelsea start next season without a proper back-up to Diego Costa. Blues fans have long ssuspected that Remy may never prove the answer in Costa’s absence , and that is exactly how things are appearing to pan out at the moment. However, if these fears are indeed realized, Chelsea have no one else apart from themselves to blame for putting all their eggs in one basket.