Back to the Future: Stars II – a comedy in how many coins FUT Managers will pay for Erling Håland. But who am I to talk, I paid 2 million for Lautaro Martínez, the focus of this week’s first review. Martínez is now the second premium striker I have reviewed in two weeks, and for the second time, I come away not entirely impressed. You look at this card and he looks like a game-breaker; pace, power, finishing, weak foot, skills, dribbling, and passing. Perhaps it is this abundance of skills and attributes that raises not only the price and attributes but also expectations to an unreasonable level. In the end, I started the weekend by applying an ENGINE chemistry style to Martínez, primarily for the 92 BALANCE, and placed him as the frontman in both the 4-2-3-1 (the image of the squad is in-game and not how I started) and the 4-4-2 formations. Martínez was the Nerazzurri flavor in the following squad:
Pace Rating: 9/10
Dribbling Rating: 9/10
Shooting Rating: 9.5/10
Passing Rating: 9/10
Physical Rating: 9.5/10
Defending Rating: N/A
What a bizarre card. I don’t remember a time where a card felt so ordinary for 95% of a match, yet at the same time popped up with a spectacular goal just about every match. Martínez truly was an enigma for me this weekend as I went from wanting to sell him after 10 matches, to love him for 5, back to being happy to see him go after 20 matches and finishing the weekend with a different option. One of the major problems with Martínez is that he falls short of every statistic his card suggests, except for his shooting which is exceptional. 97 ACCELERATION & 97 SPRINT SPEED is not what I experienced this weekend and he could not match the pace of other players in my squad. Now, he is by no means slow or sluggish, but he is definitely not producing double 97 levels of pace. At the risk of sounding monotonous, I will simply state that the same issue applied to Martínez for both the Dribbling and Physical statistics. He should be a dancing bear on the ball, sturdy and agile… and instead, he was a wacky wavy inflatable tube man, sporadic and flimsy.
Linkability & Current Game Strength
Linkability Rating: 3.5/5
Current Game Strength Rating: 5/5
Is it just me or is the Serie A difficult to work into hybrids? Every Serie A review I complete comes with the ridiculous task of fitting everyone in and normally I am making some sort of concession. The addition of Barella actually made me change the original rating from a 3 to a 3.5, but he still poses a challenge to fit into squads that do not have a huge ICON presence.
Honestly, I could copy and paste this category from the Greenwood review. We are in a time when goals are more important than ever. True, if Martínez was more effective he might have created and scored more goals himself. But I have to give credit where it is due and the shooting on this card was phenomenal. It did not matter on the left or right foot, Martínez hits the ball with real venom and devastating accuracy. Again, the 22 goals is not based on a full 90 minutes in 20 matches and it just felt like he was going to score every chance he had, which adds confidence and motivation to keep battling in the tight and compact gameplay.
Value/Coins & Good vs. Bad
Value/Coins Rating: 3.5/5
Good vs Bad Rating: 5/5
When I gave Greenwood a 5/5 for the 1.2 million coin price tag I took some flack but I stand by the fact that 1.2 million gets you a fantastic finisher, with 5 STAR WEAK FOOT, but needs help from a supporting cast to create chances. So… given my experience with Martínez which was eerily similar, the 1.8 million coin price tag is insane. The second batch of Future Stars seems to have arrived with a heightened level of hype and astronomical prices to match.
It might be worth a second to reign in the negativity I experienced with the price/value and output of this card. You do not get a 92 rated player with this many in-game statistics that is completely unusable. He might not feel like 97 pace but he is still fast enough to cause issues; he might turn more awkward than 97 AGILITY but he can still create space, and he might not have the Herculean 95 STRENGTH, but he can hold up the ball against smaller opponents. In the end, he is quality and really has next to no flaws, but at the moment he just cannot live up to the coins he demands.
I am trying my best to toe the line between an honest review of Martínez and condemning him to the underbelly of the market, although I do feel that will be his fate if his price does not come way down. Honestly, he was a quality card and I am sure there are a few FUT Managers who have had amazing success given his attributes. But for me he simply did not justify his price tag beyond pinpoint finishing, and if you just want that there are numerous other options (Greenwood included). In closing, I feel sorry for any Inter fans who have been looking forward to this card, there is nothing worse … but at least you have the derby to look back on with a smile. Cheers for reading.