Venezuela striker Josef Martinez joins Atlanta United as designated player

Atlanta United signed forward Josef Martinez on loan from Serie A side Torino on Thursday and made him the club's third designated player.

The deal includes an option for the new MLS club to sign the 23-year-old permanently. He joins Hector Villalba and Miguel Almiron as DPs in Atlanta.

Martinez has played for Torino for the past three seasons, scoring 13 goals in 76 league appearances.

"I'm very happy to be here, this is a great project," Martinez said in a statement. "I was able to see the training ground and the stadium that the club is building, and I knew that coming to Atlanta was the best decision. Also, there is a great coaching staff and remarkable young players. I can't wait to start to work with my new teammates."

Martinez is a Venezuela international with five goals so far in the current CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying campaign. Last summer, he scored the winning goal against Jamaica in a Copa America group-stage game in Chicago.

"We're excited to have acquired another player who's entering the prime of his career and who has already experienced top competition in Europe and South America," Atlanta president Darren Eales said.

"Between Serie A, Europa League and various international competitions with the Venezuelan national team, Josef has already proven himself on some of the biggest stages in our sport and we're confident in his ability to make a difference in MLS."

Martinez left Venezuela to join Swiss club Young Boys in 2012, and he also spent time on loan at FC Thun, before moving to Torino in 2014.