€40m for goal-machine or €30m for alternative: Arsenal must be patient in striker search

Reports claim Arsenal are in for Benfica's Rodrigo, but they would be wise to hold out for Jackson Martinez or a similar striker next summer.

Arsenal have long been linked with a move for a new striker. First it was Luis Suarez, then Diego Costa, and more recently Jackson Martinez of FC Porto and Alvaro Morata of Real Madrid.

The link to Martinez is perhaps the most exciting for Gunners fans, because as well as being a supremely gifted goal-scorer the Colombian has also expressed his admiration for Arsene Wenger’s side.

In truth the quote was somewhat skewed, because while it was widely reported that Martinez favoured a switch to the Emirates, what he actually said was, “When I was a child I rooted for Chelsea and Arsenal.”

Somewhere along the line Chelsea were erased, and more than a few media outlets ran with the story that the Porto man grew up supporting the North London side.

But regardless, the player with the reported €40million release-clause liked the Gunners…and they needed a striker…so it was a perfect match, right?

Well, no, because if the latest report is to believed, Arsenal are after another Portuguese-based player, a somewhat leftfield choice in Benfica’s Rodrigo.

Reports yesterday claimed the player was not keen on a €30million move to Zenit St Petersburg and Arsenal were now moving closer to a deal.

Given the potential fee, it was a story that made little sense. Here was a player who had scored five league goals in 11 appearances this season (not a bad record) valued at €10million less than a man, in Martinez, who has netted 18 in 25 in all competitions, the same player who last season bagged a remarkable 26 goals in just 30 league matches.

Martinez has since spoken to reveal that he will remain at Porto for the rest of the season. But that does not mean Arsenal should splurge on Rodrigo.

If they have to wait until next summer to get a player of true quality and an unerring knack of finding the back of the net, then so be it. But spending €30million – or even close to that – for Rodrigo, makes little sense given the players already at Wenger’s disposal.

The Frenchman needs a proven goal-scorer, a ready-made star, a player like Mesut Ozil, who came in and hit the ground running.

image: © lodekka

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