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Iñigo Martínez is bringing some impressive stats with him to FC Barcelona. The left-sided centre back, formerly of Real Sociedad and Athletic Club, has made more appearances than any other defender since his debut in 2011/12, and leads La Liga in that time for recoveries, clearances, headed clearances and won duels in the air.
Martínez is a marvel to watch with the ball at his feet, while he is like a magnet when balls come in high. Since he has graced La Liga, no player, not even Diego Godín or Gerard Piqué, have topped his 883 headed clearances, while he also leads the competition for clearances of any kind, 1,715.
His all-round strength with his head is also reflected by his top spot for aerial duels won, 859. But it is not just in defence where he excels, for he also uses his heading brilliance to support the attack. He is second in the list for the most headers at goal by a defender, and third for actual goals scored (13) including one against Barça in the 2021/22 season.
No sooner had he made his debut for Real Sociedad, he was very quickly made an automatic choice in starting line-ups. After six impressive seasons, he made the short trip to Bilbao, where he was also a regular starter, making 357 appearances for both teams combined, more than any other defender in that time.
And that's not the only statistical category that Iñigo leads since making his debut. Nobody can challenge his 1,971 recoveries either. He shares the podium with two players that he'll be replacing in the Barça defence, the outgoing Gerard Piqué and Jordi Alba.
Numbers don't lie. Xavi has a remarkable addition to his team. The Basque 'kaiser' is sure to be one of the biggest talking points of Barça 2023/24.