Arsenal star admits links to striker signing spurred him on

Olivier Giroud has admitted that Arsenal’s reported interest in FC Porto star Jackson Martinez fired him up.

The Gunners are enjoying a remarkably positive run at the moment, thanks in part to the goalscoring form of French international striker Olivier Giroud.

He has five goals and three assists in his last seven games, having blown hot and cold in the first half of the campaign, and he has admitted to L’Equipe that it is Arsenal’s interest in Jackson Martinez that has motivated him.

Porto striker Martinez has long been linked with a transfer to England, with a host of Premier League clubs interested in the Colombian striker who has 26 goals in 32 games this term. Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool have all been linked with the 29-capped international, as per ESPN and the Daily Mail respectively, although it has been reported by Portuguese media outlet A Bola that he would favour a move to Arsenal over any Premier League club.

The reports have opened the door for the Gunners to make a move for the 28-year-old in the summer, in the hope that he can continue his incredible goalscoring feats with Porto - he has 86 goals in just 123 games - into the Premier League.

If he was signed, Martinez would arguably command a place in the starting XI of Arsene Wenger’s set-up, over Giroud and Danny Welbeck, who are both talented footballers, but not great goal scorers. Despite Giroud’s recent run of form, he still has scored only 50 goals for the Gunners, and never looks like a truly threatening forward.

Martinez may not be proven in the Premier League, but he has all the abilities to impress if a transfer was to occur, but it appears as if Arsenal have already been benefitting from their reported interest in the forward. When speaking to L’Equipe in his homeland, Giroud admitted that knowing the club were looking for a replacement for him bothered him - and made him motivated to prove everyone wrong.

“It [the rumour] stings,” the 28-year-old was quoted as saying. “Recently, there has been a buzz around Jackson Martinez. The coach has said he was good, the player says he would like to come. I learned that before Middlesbrough. It gave me extra motivation. I was very happy to score two goals.”

Maybe the rumours that Martinez wants to sign for Arsenal could potentially prevent a transfer actually occurring, with Giroud one of the most in-form Premier League strikers at this moment in time.

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