By David Horrocks, MSc Football Coaching & Analysis Programme Leader at Etihad Campus, Mike Phelan and UCFB Alumni James Radclffe

David has recently submitted a PhD thesis on elite performance completed with players and staff from Manchester United Football Club. The thesis has two published papers to date: Manchester United and Serial Winning, and Gary Neville – A Case Study. David also has a first class degree in Sport Psychology from the University of Central Lancashire.

Each time the world cup comes around, new stars are born, the transfer market goes crazy and the world is an open mic stage to stardom for every footballer involved. Who will be this year’s previously unidentified flying object and earn a big money transfer to one of Europe’s football powerhouses just like Colombia’s James Rodriguez did in Brazil 2012.

The Sensible Soccer World Cup blog will bring scouting know how direct from the battlefield of English Premier League recruitment directors and chief scouts. The blog will be opening the lid on just who is being watched ahead of Russia’s six-week footballing bonanza.

Gelson Martins
Martins is an extremely exciting talent who will have the eye of Arsenal and Real Madrid among others being cast over him as Portugal take on Spain in the plumb fixture of day two. A right winger with electric pace and mesmeric dribbling skills he is an entertainer and a serious attacking threat. Portugal will be a frightening proposition going forward with Martins and Ronaldo carrying the baton and the pair will certainly cause problems for any defence.

This season Martins has 52 starts in all competitions 13 goals and 13 assists, a solid return of form for a wide player. He has champions league experience (6 starts this season) and came to prominence this campaign with a first class performance against non-other than Real Madrid.

Martins has good close control, lightening acceleration and an eye for goal. He is now 23 years of age, edging towards his prime and potentially a very sound long term investment for any would be suitor in terms of immediate performance, longevity and sell on value. Likely to cost around £30m plus but at today’s market prices could well deliver and then sell on for circa £100m.