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End of Season Player Review: Cuco Martina

Cuco Martina unexpectedly became Southampton's first-choice right back as the 2015/16 season rolled on. But, how did we rate his performances with the benefit of hindsight?

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The innocuous July 7th signing of Cuco Martina - worth a fee rumoured to be worth around £1million - was seen as a move to help bolster the Southampton squad ahead of a Europa League campaign alongside the Saints' stint in the Premier League.

With talented right backs in Calum Chambers and Nathaniel Clyne leaving for Arsenal and Liverpool respectively over the last two seasons, Saints signed Martina alongside Portuguese international Cedric to try and recreate the competition at right back Southampton once enjoyed - with Cedric the expected first-choice out of the two.

Southampton's European adventure was abruptly cut short and as the season wore on, Cedric was notably omitted from various Saints squads. Even with Cedric not being picked for certain matches, Maya Yoshida was Koeman's preferred man to take the right back position despite being a natural centre half. Martina was left out in the cold.

That soon changed. Martina was unexpectedly called upon to start against Arsenal and he punctuated a solid performance with that goal. From then on, Martina became a regular feature in the Southampton defence.

Martina may have a penchant for poor errors which can lead to goals (see Saints' win over Manchester City), he has largely been a solid performer in the Southampton defence. As in the table above, Martina has the highest average Points Per Game percentage - and while stats should be taken with a pinch of salt and his spot in the team coincided with the mammoth return of goalkeeper Fraser Forster, it's quite telling.

If you ask any Southampton fans as to what position should be bolstered in the summer, you'd be hard-pressed to find one who doesn't mention right back as either the main focal point of this summer's transfer window or one of the key areas the Saints squad should improve on.

However, Cuco hasn't done a whole lot to warrant being shipped out of the Saints squad. So, I wouldn't be surprised if we see him feature at least on the bench next year in Southampton colours.


SMM Summary: Martina is at odds with Cedric. While Cedric scored a six for ultimately not living up to the expectation lumped upon him, Martina has arguably scored the same score as there were no expectations of him being a reliable first-team right back in the first place.

He is an ordinary player, but Saints seem to pick up good results with him the first team. You can't argue with that.