• Martinez tries to rejuvenate career with Al-Nassr
  • Atlanta United retooling after a forgettable season
  • ATL UTD now has an open Designated Player slot following the Martinez deal

Atlanta United has dealt away Gonzalo "Pity" Martinez to Al-Nassr of the Saudi Pro League, a move that could help the 27-year-old rejuvenate his career. Martinez's time at Mercedes-Benz Stadium did not go that well with the Argentine football player struggling to get his groove with The Five Stripes.

The deal also means that ATL UTD has given up on Martinez, someone they acquired for a record fee of $14 million from River Plate. The 27-year-old failed to replicate the success he had at River where he won the 2018 American Player of the Year award. This was about the same time he led the club to the Copa Libertadores title, Goal reported.

Martinez failed to continue his brilliance with Atlanta. He scored only five goals to go with nine assists in his first MLS season. He struggled to blossom under Frank de Boer who would, later on, be dismissed following a woeful season. Atlanta only managed to earn five points in four matches under interim boss Stephen Glass since the league's restart.

Atlanta made a bit of a profit from the sale of Martinez. According to The Athletic, The Five Stripes will be paid $18 million for the deal.

“We want to thank Pity for his contributions to our club for the past two years,” Atlanta United vice-president and technical director Carlos Bocanegra said. “He will forever be a part of Atlanta United’s history after playing an integral part in our 2019 season in which we lifted two trophies. We’ll look to be diligent in our efforts to fill that roster spot during this window.”

With the departure of Martinez, Atlanta opens up a Designated Player and international spot. Josef Martinez and Ezequiel Barco are the two players occupying the DP slots. The bad news is that Martinez is currently out of action due to an ACL injury he suffered in March.

For Martinez, it is a fresh opportunity to recall his old form. He did show glimpses of his old self, firing four goals and four assists in ten appearances between league play and the CONCAFAC Champions League.

The only other lucrative deal for Atlanta United is the one involving Miguel Almiron. The Paraguayan footballer was dealt with Newcastle for $27 million on Jan. 31, 2019.

Gonzalo Nicolás Martinez of Argentina
Gonzalo Nicolás Martinez of Argentina Getty Images | Quality Sport Image