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Arsenal Transfer News: Jackson Martinez Would Not Be Right Fit for Gunners

PORTO, PORTUGAL - OCTOBER 1:  Jackson Martinez of FC Porto in action during the UEFA Champions League group stage match between FC Porto and Club Atletico de Madrid held on October 1, 2013 at the Estadio do Dragao, in Porto, Portugal. (Photo by Miguel Riopa/EuroFootball/Getty Images)
EuroFootball/Getty Images
Tom SunderlandFeatured Columnist IVDecember 27, 2016

Arsenal's transfer needs this winter will surely see the Premier League leaders lean toward offensive recruitment, with Olivier Giroud's flagging form contributing to heavy speculation of January investment in a striker.

However, it's vital the Gunners direct their funds at a target who fits their title-chasing needs—criteria that Porto's Jackson Martinez doesn't quite fulfil.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08:  A dejected Olivier Giroud and Mesut Oezil of Arsenal prepare to restart after Gerard Deulofeu of Everton (not pictured) equalised during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Everton at Emirates Stadium on D
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Arsene Wenger's side were recently handed a huge boost in their pursuit of the Colombian international after Martinez was reported by the Daily Star's Nick Lustig as saying:

Where would I like to play? When I was a child I rooted for Chelsea and Arsenal.

I think the best championships are La Liga, the Premier League and Bundesliga, which has grown much in recent years. But I also really like Serie A and have many friends in Italy.

The Porto scoring sensation certainly appears to be keeping his options open ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

Martinez has scored 16 goals in 21 appearances for the Primeira Liga champions this season, and is second only to Sporting Lisbon forward and fellow Colombian Fredy Montero in the domestic league scoring ranks.

Norwegian pundit Jan Aage Fjortoft believes the Porto sensation would be the ideal purchase for Arsenal:

However, being a prolific talent alone isn't sufficient at the elite level, where a great deal of factors must fall into place for such an expensive deal to be justified.

Tactically, Martinez's situation at the Estadio do Dragao is similar to Giroud's in that the South American striker also plays as the main focal point of a 4-2-3-1 formation.

However, whereas Arsenal's possession-based style often focuses on a measured build that demands the striker link up with runners from midfield, Martinez's duties are far more direct.

Lustig mentions it would take a triggering of the Porto poacher's £34 million release clause to prise him away from his current surroundings. It goes without saying that such exorbitant fees aren't paid for a player who's merely there to act as cover or competition, so a Martinez arrival would likely require an overhaul of Wenger's existing tactics.

Considering the Frenchman's side are currently in their most confident title hunt for years and have struck gold on one of the most potent midfield combinations in the division, a change of approach is not something that would go down well at the Emirates Stadium.

That's not to say that a player of Martinez's skill set would go unwanted. The fast-paced forward's talents would give Wenger an attractive alternative in attack and open up the possibility of playing another striker off Giroud's shoulder.

However, the potential £34 million fee means experimentation wouldn't be plausible for too long. Wenger would be forced into picking a route, and sticking with it.

The other very obvious concern is that Martinez wouldn't be available for European competition. It's a conundrum that plays a role in the transfer speculation of many a target at this time of year. Not being able to use such a massive investment in the Champions League is a big sacrifice to make.

In Giroud, the Gunners have a scorer who's managed to come upon a richer vein of form in the English top flight, having taken a season to settle into his new environment.

PORTO, PORTUGAL - OCTOBER 1:  Jackson Martinez of FC Porto in action during the UEFA Champions League group stage match between FC Porto and Club Atletico de Madrid held on October 1, 2013 at the Estadio do Dragao, in Porto, Portugal. (Photo by Miguel Rio
EuroFootball/Getty Images

In the pursuit of not wanting to put that expense to waste, Arsenal require a signing who would contend with the Frenchman for playing time, but not rob him of it entirely.

Granted, Martinez's acquisition would signify another change in transfer dynamic at the Emirates Stadium, but it's not the statement they need right now.

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