€40m Arsenal, Chelsea strike solution dropped after four games without a goal

FC Porto Trophy Celebration

Jackson Martinez has been dropped after a poor run of form at FC Porto.

He looked the real deal - but Jackson Martinez is proving even the most prolific strikers have their dry spells.

The Porto striker has an impressive 21 goals this season already, but none since February 9.

After the club fell to a shock home defeat to Estoril last weekend, and then had to rely on defender Eliaquim Mangala scoring two to bail them out in the Europa League against Frankfurt, it was clearly decided that it was time for a change.

Martinez had failed to hit the back of the net in four consecutive matches - with substitute Nabil Ghilas netting the important third in midweek.

Porto boss Paulo Fonseca apparently wanted to send a message out to Martinez that his place was not guaranteed - dropping him for Sunday night's fixture away at Vitoria de Guimares.

Whether it paid off is another matter entirely.

Porto drew the game 2-2, losing yet more ground at the top of the Primeira Liga to Benfica, who won 1-0 at 10 man Belenenses.

Ghilas who started, failed to find the scoresheet, and Martinez was brought on for the final 19 minutes - and could not make it five appearances without a goal.

Benfica now sit nine points clear of reigning champions Porto, while Fonseca finds his position increasingly under-scrutiny in his first season in the job.

As for Martinez, it's the first real challenge he has encountered since arriving at the club, and will reveal a lot about his character - and whether he would be suited for Premier League clubs such as Arsenal and Chelsea who have been linked with signing him.

He has real motivation to pick up, and prove he is worthy of the €40 million release clause placed on him by Porto. Even more so, he needs to find his form ahead of the World Cup and show he can fill the void left by Falcao should the Monaco striker not regain fitness in time.

As it is, the clamour for Falcao's return will only grow in his homeland until Martinez gets back to scoring goals again.

image: © dioxido

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