Primary Arsenal strike option Jackson Martinez, a 27-year-old out-and-out goalscorer for FC Porto, is widely coveted across Europe due to his predatory, penalty-box exploits since transferring to the Portuguese side in 2012.
His goal-scoring prowess has attracted widespread commendation and the player even recently made what could feasibly be construed as a come-and-get me plea by insisting he has long been a fan of the way the Gunners, under Arsene Wenger, play their football.
As quoted by Sky Sports, Martinez said: When I was a kid, I cheered for Arsenal. I love their style of play, it is flowing and open, with a lot of first touch passes. It would be suitable for a player like me. If I get an opportunity to play for a high level Premier league club such as Arsenal, I wouldn’t hesitate to accept it.'
Within days, various other reports emerged indicating that the aforementioned statement had not fallen on deaf ears as, on the front cover of A Bola today, Thursday, Martinez was pictured alongside a headline that read: 'Jackson is in the sights of Arsenal', while the body copy inside expressed that Wenger may step up his pursuit in the Colombian star as Real Madrid appear loathe to allow Alvaro Morata an exit route from Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, even if it is temporary.
Arsenal's requirement for a striker as well as the player's seemingly good fit at the Emirates Stadium has been given the thumbs-up by South American football expert Tim Vickery, who is quoted by talkSport to have said: 'he's been very successful at Porto, and has found his European legs there and it could be the time is right for him to go.
'He's an out-and-out goalscorer who doesn't give you much else, but if you want a penalty box scorer, Martinez could be the man.'
The speculation appears founded, he is praised from esteemed industry figures, but how do his statistical figures compare to his prospective striking rivals in the Premier League: Luis Suarez of Liverpool, Robin van Persie at Manchester United and Sergio Aguero of Manchester City?
Data below is taken from the past 18 month, since Martinez has played in European football, and is collected from respective leagues alone, rather than all competitions.
|Robin van Persie||49||33||4023||1/122|
According to the figures above, Martinez's goal return from the past season and a half is directly comparable to that enjoyed by Luis Suarez - widely regarded to be the player of the current campaign in England.
Jackson also measures up more favourably against accomplished Premier League striker and former Gunners forward Robin van Persie, while Sergio Aguero's final goal return of one per 122 minutes on average is also inferior to Martinez's; one every 103 minutes.
Can Martinez's goal-scoring in the Portuguese league be analysed as well as accomplished Premier League stars? Do his figures bode well? Let us know in the comment section below.