Martins strikes while the iron’s hot

tipped for stardom, Obafemi Martins' career has taken something of a nosedive in recent years.

But whilst it might not compare to San Siro or St. James' Park, grounds he once called home, his recent move to the Estadio Ciutat de Valencia could prove to be the best decision he has made in his career.

Sunday's goal against local rivals Valencia proved to be the winner in a 1-0 triumph, the Nigerian making it two goals in three games since his arrival from Rubin Kazan last month. Before looking at how Martins can impact Levante though, let's look at how he got there.

His career has seen him feature in Italy, England, Germany and Russia, without ever really finding a place where he has been valued. He left Inter after they signed Hernan Crespo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and struggled for form and goals with Wolfsburg and Rubin Kazan. In fact he struggled so much in Russia that Rubin let him leave on a free transfer – just two years after paying €17m for his services.

But Martins now finds himself in a great situation. To find out why, you have to look at what Levante have done with similar players.

In 2010, then Coach Luis Garcia Toral snapped up Manchester City striker Felipe Caicedo on loan, who had failed to make an impact not only for the Blues but also in loan spells at Sporting Lisbon and Malaga.

Caicedo went on to score 13 La Liga goals and impressed hugely for 'the Frogs'. Levante were cash-strapped at the time, but activated the £1m buy-out clause, then sold him on to Lokomotiv Moscow later that summer for a huge profit, raking in £6m.

In his place? Sevilla misfit Arouna Kone, who had scored just three goals in the last four seasons. On paper, Kone didn't appear to be a ready-made replacement for Caicedo. However the theme of Levante's season 2011-12 was achievement in spite of chronically low expectations, and Kone was no different.

The Ivorian hit 15 goals before being left out of the side due to 'injury'. The real reason was that if he scored 18 goals, his contract decreed that he would be forced to return to Sevilla and extend his stay in Andalusia. Levante managed to keep Kone as a result of his absence, the former PSV forward re-joining on a free transfer.

The club then showed their business acumen again as, in a carbon copy of the Caicedo situation, they sold Kone to Wigan Athletic for £4m.

His departure left another hole to be filled in the attack, and whilst they signed Elche hitman Angel and Greek international Theofanis Gekas, neither of them offered the physical attributes that Kone and Caicedo had possessed.

Then, 13 days after the transfer window had closed, a summer long pursuit of Martins reached a successful conclusion.

It is not right to say that I will score a certain number of goals, but I am here and I hope to score many,” the 27-year-old declared.

“I spoke with sporting director Manolo Salvador and since then all I wanted was to join Levante.”

His impact has been instantaneous. Sunday's win leaves the team in 11th place, with boss Juan Ignacio Martinez quick to praise his new signing.

“Martins will give us that extra burst, as his speed is one of our strengths when the team is ahead. His signing is a tremendous effort from the sporting management at the club.”

Now with a club that has made a habit of finding journeymen strikers a home, Martins could be the latest to see his career rejuvenated by a move to Levante.