Could Jackson Martinez be the man to genuinely replace RvP at Arsenal?

Van Persie Shirt

FC Porto striker Jackson Martinez has interest from Arsenal according to his agent, but is he the man to replace Robin van Persie at the Emirates?

The 27-year-old Colombia international will have the perfect opportunity to show just how much of a threat he can be in front of goal at the World Cup this summer, as his agent claims Arsenal are among the clubs pursuing the Porto striker with interest.

Martinez scored 20 goals in 30 games for Porto in the Primeira Liga last term after a sensational tally of 26 goals in 30 games the previous season. The Colombian goal-machine has Champions League experience and could be available for £32million, which would be enough to trigger his release-clause.

"It's true, he will fly in tonight because we have some meetings lined up to evaluate and find the right proposal for Jackson Martinez,” claimed his agent Peppino Tirri.

"We've got meetings set up with numerous European clubs, as he is of interest to Manchester United, Atletico Madrid, Arsenal and Valencia, but also important Italian sides.”

Arsenal currently rely on the services of Olivier Giroud who arrived in the summer of 2012 to replace the outgoing former captain Robin van Persie. The Dutchman had won the Premier League Golden Boot in his final season with the Gunners for his 30 goals in 38 appearances in the English top tier.

Giroud made an admirable contribution in his first term of 11 goals in 34 league games and improved on that this season scoring 16 goals in 36 appearances for the North Londoners, but he does not possess quite the threat in front of goal of the departed Dutchman for the Gunners.

The Gunners obviously need a striker to come in this summer at the very least to provide cover and competition for Giroud but could Martinez go beyond that if Arsene Wenger decides he is worth the £32million fee? Martinez has impressed in Portugal, but the level of competition and intensity is not quite the level of the Premier League but a comparison in the Champions League could offer some food for thought.

Last term Martinez scored two goals in six appearances in the Champions League with Porto compared to Van Persie’s four goals in six in his last season at Arsenal in 2011/12. The Dutchman achieved a pass completion rate of 69.7% that term compared to Martinez’s 73.4% this term, despite the fact that Martinez made more passes, 28.2 per game on average to Van Persie’s humble 18.9 per game.

The Colombian averaged 4.3 shots per game to Van Persie’s 2.9 per game on average. Van Persie won just 0.7 aerial duels per game on average to Martinez’ far superior 3.8 per game this term. In terms of efficiency in front of goal, this term with Manchester United in the Champions League only 36% of Van Persie’s shots were on target compared to Martinez’ 39% with Porto.

Jackson also made more key passes, 1.3 per game on average to Van Persie’s 0.7 per game and completed more successful dribbles, 0.7 per game to Van Persie’s 0.4 on average, was fouled more often resulting in more free kicks awarded, 2.5 times per game to Van Persie’s 1.3 per game on average and

Overall, at three years Robin van Persie’s junior and two years younger than he was when he left the Emirates, Jackson Martinez’s stats are already superior to the former captain’s and, what’s more, the Colombian is now hitting the peak years of a striker’s career where as Van Persie’s was sold just as he entered the twilight of his.

There is no doubt that van Persie was a sensation for Arsenal, but judging by the numbers, Martinez has the makings of a world beater should the Gunners pursue their interest this summer.

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