Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Strikers Arsene Wenger Must Target in January

Aidan ReynoldsContributor IIIJanuary 4, 2014

Jackson Martinez has admitted he would love to play for Arsenal.
Jackson Martinez has admitted he would love to play for Arsenal.EuroFootball/Getty Images

Arsene Wenger doesn't like to spend big in January, but injuries to both Olivier Giroud and Nicklas Bendtner have forced his hand.

Last summer Wenger defied his miserly reputation and brought in Mesut Ozil. The German playmaker has since inspired Arsenal to new heights, helped in no small part by the emergence of Aaron Ramsey.

There's not much chance of Wenger repeating the trick in January; instead he is likely to seek a stop-gap solution as he awaits the return of his main strikers.

Wenger will be looking for a combination of value and performance to see him through, and the players listed below could fulfil that profile.


Dmitar Berbatov, Fulham

With Fulham struggling this season, Dmitar Berbatov has often been asked to carry a load he is no longer capable of supporting.

Although his motivation is sometimes in question, he could thrive in a team-orientated environment such as Arsenal's and score valuable goals in 2014.

Berbatov's contract is nearing an end with the Cottagers, but they will be keen to keep him until the end of the season as they attempt to avoid relegation.

As stated by B/R's Willie Gannon, Berbatov would provide better link-up play than Bendtner, while Sam Adams at the Mirror reported that Wenger is set to make a £2 million bid.

Despite this, Wenger stated to the Guardian that Berbatov isn't someone they are considering. However, for a stop-gap solution, the Bulgarian could be a very good option.

Alexandre Pato's career has slipped, but he could be an interesting option for Wenger.
Alexandre Pato's career has slipped, but he could be an interesting option for Wenger.Jared Wickerham/Getty Images


Alexandre Pato, Corinthians

After a promising start in Milan, Alexandre Pato suffered a series of injuries over a period of three years and his performances declined as a result. He returned to Brazil in the January window last year and has 17 goals in 57 appearances.

Once considered one of Brazil's brightest hopes, Pato fell off the radar during his injury-plagued years. He was sold to Corinthians for €15 million and hasn't really regained his former promise.

Even his current club have fallen out of love with him a little and his appearances have been limited in recent weeks.

However, that doesn't mean that he couldn't provide a short-term solution and add some spark to the Arsenal attack.

In December, Alex Richards at the Mirror stated that Corinthians turned down an €8 million bid for Pato's services, so Arsenal may need to increase that to around €10 million to reignite the discussion.

It's a slightly risky move, but €10 million isn't really that much for a striker who is still only 24 and looking to prove himself at a high level once more.


Jackson Martinez, Porto

Jackson Martinez set the rumour mill on fire when he revealed that he would like to play in the Premier League and that he cheered for Arsenal when he was growing up.

The full quote was reported in Metro and duplicated below:

I cheered for Arsenal when I was a kid—I love their style of play.

It’s flowing and open with a lot of first touch passes. It would be suitable for a player like me. If I get a chance to play for a high level club like Arsenal I wouldn’t hesitate to accept it.

That Metro report valued Martinez at £30 million, which could prove a little pricey for Wenger.

The Arsenal manager stated to the Telegraph that "you can find a solution somewhere, a club that has financial trouble and wants to get rid of a big contract for five or six months. But to find in January exactly the player who will be tomorrow’s star on the longer term is much more difficult."

That could rule out Martinez, but if he is truly available, then Wenger should consider the move. It's true that the Porto player would not be available for Champions League football, which would be an obvious problem, but he could make a strong contribution in the future.

While it's arguable that Martinez is too different to function in relief of Giroud, he also offers an option to exploit teams late in the game with an injection of pace and a more direct style of play.

Arsenal have proved more than capable of tearing teams apart this year and Martinez would give them an additional weapon in this regard.