Arsenal

Arsenal Transfer News: Reported Targets Arsene Wenger Should Avoid

VALENCIA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 22:  Angel Di Maria of Real Madrid celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the La Liga match between Valencia CF and Real Madrid CF at Estadio Mestalla on December 22, 2013 in Valencia, Spain.  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images
Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2014

A club of Arsenal's calibre is regularly linked with the biggest of football's talents; however, the biggest doesn't always mean best.

This January transfer window is a vital crossroads in the club's plans for the 2013-14 season in which the progress made during the first half of the campaign will either pave the way for a triumphant return to prominence or again leave the Gunners empty-handed.

Here, we break down some of those names that have become associated with a move to the Emirates Stadium in recent months, but shouldn't be jumped at simply based on their past performances.

 

Dimitar Berbatov

The red flags around Dimitar Berbatov's signature are numerous, and most point to the fact that the Bulgarian shouldn't be brought in this winter.

The Press Association (h/t The Guardian) recently reported Arsene Wenger as saying that the former Manchester United striker was not "a name we have considered at the moment," and rightly so.

The Mirror's John Cross backed up Wenger's comments, labelling the move an "urban myth":

At 32 years of age, Berbatov holds very little in terms of long-term potential and would be nothing more than the shortest of stopgaps to accommodate any further injuries or absences that may affect the participation of Olivier Giroud and Nicklas Bendtner.

While January may not be the easiest period in which to do business, Arsenal are a club who's eye should always be on the future, never settling for a transfer such as this, regardless of the cut-price cover Berbatov may provide at £2 million. 

 

Jackson Martinez

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

Jackson Martinez's stock has risen drastically over the last two years, one of numerous Colombians to have impressed at Porto in the last couple of seasons.

The Mirror's Ben Burrows recently quoted the South American as saying that he "wouldn't hesitate" should the Gunners come calling for his services, adding:

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.

It's always a positive when a player has a genuine thirst to turn out for the club he represents, but now isn't the time for Martinez's arrival.

The 27-year-old is a prolific asset, having scored 12 goals in 14 Primeira Liga outings so far this season, per Transfermarkt.co.uk, and is now heading into his prime at the Estadio do Dragao.

PORTO, PORTUGAL - AUGUST 25:  Jackson Martinez of FC Porto in action during the Liga Zon Sagres match between FC Porto and Vitoria Guimaraes at Estadio do Dragao on August 25, 2012 in Porto, Portugal.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

That being said, he would be unavailable to play for Wenger's side in Europe, and his more cutthroat style of play would require a serious rethink of Arsenal's tactics, unless he were to settle for playing a bit-part role in the next six months or so.

With a summer to go back to the drawing board, Martinez's acquisition is one that would make much more sense later on in 2014.

 

Angel di Maria

MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 18:  Angel di Maria of Real Madrid reacts during the Copa del Rey, Round of 32 2nd leg match between Real Madrid and Olimpic de Xativa at Santiago Bernabeu stadium on December 18, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Gett
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Arsenal's squad needs fine-tuning if it is to truly fulfil its potential as a title-winning side, but one area in which it isn't particularly lacking is its creative department.

TalkSPORT have reported that Arsenal are one of the biggest Premier League suitors interested in taking the winger to England, but it's a high-risk, high-reward manoeuvre that might be out of reach right now. 

Goal.com's Wayne Veysey suggested that a bid of over £25 million was made for the South American over the summer:

Granted, the Argentinian's past relationship with Mesut Ozil might make him an attractive proposition, but the good form of Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla and even Serge Gnabry risks being spoiled by such a high-profile move.

The Gunners are known for being savvy with the way in which they distribute their transfer funds, and di Maria's transfer would be slightly too rich for an acquisition that should be looked at as more of a luxury than a necessity.

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