Arnau Martínez is a 19-year-old Spanish right back and right wingback converted from center back who plays for Girona FC in La Liga, where he is contracted until 2025. He won a starting place in the first team in the Segunda Division, with 48 starting appearances over two seasons, and has not looked back. Now, Martínez has maintained his place in the squad while moving up a tier, proving his quality in the process. Through his performances, he has also earned a place in the Spain squad at the U21 level.
Standing at 1.82 meters, the right footed Martínez brings a lanky build to the table but is not afraid to be physical. As an athlete, he is quite impressive, combining his physicality with rapid pace and nice agility to flip his hips when defending or perform a nice turn with the ball. Martínez is not just an athlete, though, as he applies these traits to his game quite naturally.
Girona’s gem is a model defender on the wing. Martínez puts his education as a center back to great use. He has many great moments of anticipation when making interceptions, using his pace to close down space quickly. In 1v1s, he is imposing and threatening to wingers. Martínez keeps good hip bend and positioning while staying in front of his man, usually forcing a pass away or putting in a tackle himself. His polished technique on defense rewards him with a good success rate in duels and interceptions. Martínez’s defensive instincts are at such a high level for a teenager.
On the offensive end, the Spain youth international is a creative threat and effective ball carrier. Martínez flies in with support runs out wide on the right, receiving the ball and often picking out a pass in the box to put the defense under pressure. His ground passes and crosses are almost always well-weighted. When carrying the ball up the pitch, he seems unbothered and dribbles the ball with both feet comfortably. Martínez’s comfortability with his weaker left foot takes a hit when making passes, but he does not utilize it as often. He brings dynamism on the wing that is necessary for his club’s end product.
Tactically, Martínez fits very well with Girona. His high tempo and work rate translate well to a high pressing squad. Martínez’s use of width as a playmaker and his frequent support runs are perfect for the wingback role he must play under Míchel. Overall, his play style is tactically flexible and would be suitable for any high tempo club that mainly look to the wings to create chances.
Arnau Martínez is in a good spot for his level right now. To earn the big move that should be coming, remaining consistent with Girona at the La Liga level is essential. If he continues that trend, his youth club FC Barcelona could match his rumored €20M release clause. Martínez surely has the traits to thrive under Xavi.