The Europa League Champions were quick to react and snap up promising talent Gelson Martins under the noses of Arsenal and Liverpool on a free transfer.

Atletico Madrid have announced the signing of promising Portuguese International Gelson Martins on a free transfer after thee players, among others cancelled his contract with former club Sporting Lisbon. Atletico have signed the Portuguese on a five-year deal, and this move they hope will see the best of the exciting speedster.

Gelson Martins was expected to make a move to one of Europe or England’s top clubs in the summer, owing to his display of talent and skill on the pitch for Sporting. Things at the Portuguese club turned sore in a matter of days after a reported 50 hooded men stormed into the training ground and led physical attacks on their players.

The aftermath saw many players leaving the club acrimoniously, after cancelling their respective contracts, and the first to do so was Portugal International goalkeeper, Rui Patricio. Martins among others were expected to follow his lead out of the club. Although Patricio made his move to Wolves rather quickly, it took time for Martins to conclude with the situation.

Sporting´s Gelson Martins vies for the ball UEFA Champions League Group F football match between BVB Borussia Dortmund and Sporting CP in Dortmund, western Germany, on November 2, 2016. / AFP / PATRIK STOLLARZ (Photo credit should read PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Gelson Martins cancelled his contract with Sporting Lisbon and has now signed on a free transfer with Atletico Madrid. (AFP/Getty Images)

Martins eventually cancelled his contract and even before the incident was linked with many big clubs including Arsenal, who reportedly had two bids rejected by Sporting for the player. While Arsenal were slow to react after the player left Sporting, it was Atletico who were quick enough to snap up the exciting talent and bring him to the Wanda Metropolitano.

Atletico, in addition to the talent they have acquired, also do not have to pay a penny for the player. Sporting even recently had quoted €100 million to Liverpool for the player, as other clubs like Chelsea and Tottenham also circled Martins. Atletico have by far got the bargain of the current transfer window after signing Martins.

Gelson Martin's form last season saw him being called up to Portugal's World Cup campaign in Russia. (Photo courtesy: AFP/Getty)
Gelson Martin’s form last season saw him being called up to Portugal’s World Cup campaign in Russia. (Photo courtesy: AFP/Getty)

Martin’s promising future is the result of his brilliant present, as he was one of the best players for Lisbon last season. For a 23-year-old, Martins has only made 14 appearances in total for Lisbon and has never played for any other club. Last season, however, was his best one yet, after playing 52 times in all competition, scoring 13 goals and assisting a further 13.

Atletico will be looking to use the pace and trickery of the player to good use, as Diego Simeone seems to have found the proper winger he was looking for quite some time now, who also signed Thomas Lemar earlier in the window from Monaco. Martins will also be a useful addition to the squad, one that adds quality depth to already dangerous attacking options at the club.

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