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Sports News
Martins tipped to be ''superstar'' 1/17/2007
Birmingham City manager Steve Bruce believes Nigeria''s Obafemi Martins can be ''a big superstar'' for Newcastle and the club''s next number nine hero.

Newcastle-born Bruce, whose side visit St James Park in an FA Cup replay on Wednesday, is tipping the 22-year-old to follow in the footsteps of former club legends Alan Shearer, Jackie Milburn and Malcolm MacDonald.

"The number nine shirt at Newcastle has a huge history about it - the Milburns, MacDonalds, Shearers, etc - but Martins has all the ingredients to add to that and make himself very popular with supporters," said a man who supported the club as a boy.

"He shoots with both feet with equal power and I don''t think I''ve ever seen a ball hit so hard as his wonderful strike against Tottenham at the weekend.

"He has got a bit of personality about him as well which people like.

"People don''t realise how difficult it is to come into the Premier League just like English players in general don''t do very well abroad.

"But I think he will be a big hit and all my mates who are Newcastle fans are right behind him at the moment.

"He has all the ingredients to be a big superstar up there."

Martins, whose fierce strike sparked Newcastle''s 3-2 win at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, has scored seven goals in his last nine league games.

His bright start has prompted Bruce to say he feels the striker can ultimately be revered in the same way as Milburn in the 1950s, MacDonald in the 1970s and Shearer over the past decade.

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