The rumor mill circulated all weekend about the possibility of star striker Jackson Martinez making a move to Arsenal ahead of the upcoming summer transfer period. The story began with the Portuguese newspaper, as Jornal di Noticias publishing a story with the headline reading, “Jackson says goodbye, with Arsenal looking.”
Also noticeable in the story are the words, “Colombian striker plays last game today in Dragon Stadium (FC Porto’s home complex) and has a principle understanding to head to the Gunners.”
While nothing has been confirmed by either Porto, Arsenal, or the player, fans at the Portuguese club’s last league match of the season held up signs saying, “goodbye Jackson.” It is thought that the Colombia international has a release clause in his current contract worth around £25 million.
Martinez has been a goal-scoring machine throughout his entire career, but most of all over the past three seasons with Porto. In 133 total matches with the Portuguese giants, Martinez has hit the back of the net 92 times. The Colombian has also been the Primeira Liga top scorer in every season he has been in Portugal.
The now 28-year-old striker has put up 32 goals during the 2014/15 campaign, including eight scores in 10 Champions League fixtures.
Arsenal fans surely perked up upon hearing news of the potential Martinez signing. Although the Gunners are in need of a goalkeeper and a defensive minded midfielder, the north London club should also look to bring in an additional center forward as well.
Olivier Giroud has performed admirably during the season, scoring 18 goals in 34 total matches; however, the Gunners seem to be a bit short at the center forward position. Arsenal does have German international Lukas Poldolski, Joel Campbell, Yaya Sanogo, Danny Welbeck, and 19-year-old Chuba Akpom on their books, but there are issues with each of these players.
Poldolski, Campbell, and Sanogo have all been loaned out to separate clubs throughout the season and neither of the three strikers have performed all that well. Podolski and Campbell currently both have scored one goal in 16 league matches each with Inter Milan and Villarreal respectively. Sanogo, on the other hand, has failed to hit the back of the net in 13 Premier League matches with Crystal Palace.
Welbeck, who is in his first full season with the Gunners, is more of a winger than a true center forward. The England international possesses great dribbling abilities and pace; however, he has not shown consistent quality finishing aptness during the season.
Finally, Akpom looks as if he could turn out to be a solid addition to the senior Arsenal squad in the future, but the teenager does not look ready to fill in as a regular player with the Gunners just yet. The youth England international bagged nine goals in 11 Arsenal U-21 matches during the 2014/15 season before being loaned out to Championship side Nottingham Forest.
If Martinez does in fact move to north London, he would be the exact type of forward that they need to help the Gunners lift the Premier League title. Giroud does a fine job heading the Arsenal attack, but the club would do well to bring in a reinforcement up top. With Giroud, and possibly Martinez, Arsenal also have speedy forwards like Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Welbeck to feed the choice center forward.
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