Gelson Martins is the newest player to be signed by Atletico Madrid. Photo: Eric Vidal/Reuters

MADRID – Portuguese winger Gelson Martins will join Atletico Madrid from Lisbon-based Sporting on a five-year deal as a free agent, the Spanish club announced Wednesday.

The 23-year-old Portuguese international was one of nine players to quit Sporting after they were attacked by hooded fans, soem armed with sticks, during a training session following their failure to qualify for next season's Champions League.

"His speed and fine dribbling skills make him a valued addition to our team and a threat to the opposition’s defenders," the club said in a statement.

Martins has played 140 matches for Sporting Lisbon and scored 27 goals and given 30 assists. He made his debut for Sporting in 2015 when he was just 19 years old.

He has been capped 19 times for Portugal and was part of their squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, appearing as a substitute in the 1-0 win over Morocco.

Agence France-Presse (AFP)