Arsenal could find themselves a serious upgrade on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this summer…
What’s the word?
According to Eurosport’s Dean Jones, the Gunners are in “pole position” to sign Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez before this month’s transfer deadline after the Telegraph first revealed their interest last month.
Speaking on ‘The Football Terrace’, he said:
“My initial thought – like most people – was why would Lautaro Martinez, who’s just won Serie A with Inter Milan and is one of the best young forwards in the game, go and join Arsenal right now?
“So I’ve asked that question and basically he wants to come to the Premier League, first of all. And he sees Arsenal, if that’s the club, to be a place where he can grow.
“At the moment, the reason Arsenal are in pole position for him is because they basically have a free run at him. There hasn’t been any other contact with other clubs.”
Arsenal fans, who would you rather have upfront this season?
If Edu Gaspar and the Emirates hierarchy can seal a move for the £72m-rated talisman, then what a signing he could be.
Martinez spearheaded Inter to their first Serie A title in over a decade, thanks to his 19 goals and 11 assists in all competitions. He averaged a direct goal contribution every 108 minutes, as per Transfermarkt.
One could question Mikel Arteta’s interest in a new striker but Alexandre Lacazette has been linked with an exit in recent months, whilst it’s no secret that the form of Aubameyang has been a major cause for concern.
Only a few weeks ago, much of the Gunners faithful were pondering whether the 32-year-old club captain had lost his goalscoring touch after a lacklustre display during pre-season.
It may not be a competitive encounter but the Gabon international only scored two goals in his final nine appearances last season, with his average number of shots per game decreased by 0.6 from a year earlier, when he found the net 12 more times in the Premier League, via WhoScored.
Arteta himself even acknowledged Aubameyang’s disappointing form back in April as he told reporters:
“It’s not been where it’s been in recent years and it’s a factor that is contributed by a lot of things that the team has to do on the pitch. It’s not just his thing.
“But obviously we need Aubameyang in a different form in the next games to give us our best chance to finish where we want to finish the season, that’s clear.”
As a result, Arsenal must look to seal a move for Martinez, not just because of his impressive goal returns in 2020/21.
Argentina teammate and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has given the 23-year-old a rather glowing endorsement in the past – speaking to Mundo Deportivo, he said:
“He’s spectacular. He has impressive qualities. You could tell he was going to be a great player, and he is showing that. He’s very strong, really good one on one, scores a lot of goals, and in the area he fights with anyone, holds it up, he can turn, scrap to win it all on his own. He has a lot of quality. He’s very complete.”
The 28-cap goal machine could certainly help bolster the Gunners’ fortunes in front of goal as Arteta’s squad scored the fewest goals of any side that finished inside the top nine.
Whilst it remains to be seen how much Inter would want for a player of Martinez’s calibre, their financial problems could aid any bid for him this summer, so Edu must now do all they can to secure him.