Atlanta United striker Josef Martinez, who is reportedly a Newcastle United target, could be out for a long time. As reported by MLS Soccer, Atlanta manager Frank de Boer admitted that Martinez’s injury looks serious on first glance.
The prolific striker was on course to challenge for Lionel Messi’s world record of scoring in 21 consecutive games. Martinez had netted in 15 games in a row but his 16th attempt was cut short due to injury.
Martinez had to be stretchered off on 79 minutes in Atlanta’s 3-1 win over San Jose Earthquakes. He failed to score in the game so his world record attempt is now officially over. And it could be even worse as there are initial fears that his knee injury is serious.
Former Crystal Palace manager de Boer, now at Atlanta, is concerned. He said (via MLS Soccer): “I’m afraid that he has something serious, but we have to wait. They’re evaluating him now.”
Martinez has recently been linked with Newcastle, as per The Chronicle. The Venezeula striker, who used to play alongside Miguel Almiron, has scored 86 goals in 96 games for Atlanta so it is no surprise to see teams in Europe keen. But this injury could cost him a move to Europe.
This is a blow for Newcastle, who were probably aiming to reunite Martinez with Almiron at St James’ Park. The 26-year-old would have been a risky wildcard signing but he has all the attributes to be a success.
Martinez is a natural finisher – something Newcastle could do with this season. But this injury does not look good and he is unlikely to be fit by January if it is an ACL injury.