Arsene Wenger has dropped a hint that he could be interested in Jackson Martinez in the future, by insisting that he thought the Colombia international could cope in the Premier League and confirming that he was being watched by many clubs.
Arsenal have been linked on and off with the free-scoring forward since he began to gain his lethal reputation at FC Porto and, given their current lack of a prolific front-man, it makes sense to assume that Wenger is keeping his options open.
Speaking to beIN SPORTS - as relayed buy Portuguese newspaper A Bola - the long-serving Gunners boss offered his opinion on a host of Porto players, but arguably his most interesting statement was his last.
After discussing the likes of Fernando - now at Manchester City - Casemiro and Cristian Tello he turned his attentions to Martinez, who very much has a reputation that precedes him.
"He's hugely efficient, he is the kind of player who can make room for himself in the box." Wenger said.
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"He could play in the Premier League, Jackson Martinez, because he has the body to make the difference. He uses his body in a very intelligent way; a very short back-lift and is a very good finisher.
"He could play in the Premier League, Jackson Martinez, because he has the body to make the difference"
"He's on the list of many clubs, you know that, and he will be the next big transfer."
Wenger’s quotes could be interpreted as a sign that the Frenchman himself is interested in working with Martinez in the future, with Arsenal having lacked a natural goalscorer since the days of Robin van Persie.
Though Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck both have traits useful to Wenger’s setup, neither can profess to being a 20+-a-season front-man, and that’s realistically what the Gunners are lacking in their bid to challenge for the Premier League title.
The fact that Alexis Sanchez, best utilized in a role behind the striker, has scored the lion’s share of the club’s goals this term is evidence enough that they lack genuine firepower up top. Whilst Manchester City boast Sergio Aguero and Chelsea have Diego Costa that could be the difference maker, and with that in mind Wenger will certainly be considering his options come the summer.
Martinez the goal machine
In that respect Martinez could be a very good fit, despite the fact he’s untested in any of Europe’s top divisions. The 28-year-old is all too aware that it’s a now or never situation regarding a potential move to one of the continent’s biggest clubs - as was made perfectly clear by his comments concerning a summer departure - and the fact he has 62 Portuguese Super Liga goals in just 80 appearances across three seasons for Porto speaks volumes over his instinct in front of goal.
Reports have claimed the player is possessive of a release clause worth £27.5 million, a sum which Porto will certainly hold out for, but given that he could gift Arsenal the goals needed to launch a sustained title assault, one has to presume he’d be worth every penny.
Arsenal fans, do you think Martinez would be sensible purchase by Wenger? Or are Giroud and Welbeck enough? Let us know in the comments box below...