Arsenal’s search for a new striker continues. As against the January window when Wenger’s argument was that he didn’t get a player that could significantly improve the Gunners, now he is spoilt for choice as top strikers are surprisingly available. According to reports, Jackson Martinez, Mario Balotelli and Mario Manduzkic are all available for the right price but with Wenger been the manager that doesn’t sign two quality players for a single position, not to talk about Giroud who is still highly rated by Wenger and Sanogo who the Frenchman is keen to make a name with. Le prof would almost certainly buy just a top class centre forward so as not to jeopardize the career of the other less fancied ones.
Who should Arsenal sign from the pool boasting of Martinez and the two disgruntled Marios; Balotelli and Manduzkic?
Surprisingly the trio are available. Porto doesn’t see any player as indispensable provided the right price is offered. If they could sell Falcao, they would gladly sell Martinez. The Colombian is a lethal and experienced centre forward. Unlike the other two, he can also play as a winger and that would be of particular interest to Wenger who will be looking for a striker that can also play alongside Giroud either in a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 formation. Wenger had repeatedly stated that he wants goalscorers on the wings and that was one of the reasons why he refused acceding Walcott and Podolski’s requests to play through the centre.
If getting Martinez, Arsenal would be getting a fan of the club as Martinez has been recently quoted as saying he is an Arsenal fan. Getting him will be a plus for us as nothing compares to having a player who is a boy hood supporter of your club playing for you. When you have a fan as a player, he tends to give more than those that see the club as mere employers and they employees. We all saw how Jenkinson celebrated his first ever goal for Arsenal because he is a fan. I can only imagine how Martinez would celebrate each of his goals for his dream team Arsenal.
The only challenge Arsenal might face is the price tag. Porto might be willing sellers but their players don’t come cheap. Wenger may have problems negotiating with the Portuguese giants since he doesn’t like paying the price demanded, he tends to want to beat it down.
Of the two Marios, Mandzukic though leaving Bayern on sour terms is still easier to manage than Balotelli. Mario Balotelli is however a nightmare for managers. Managers like Mancini, Mourinho, Allegri and Seedorf have all failed to manage him well. Can Wenger succeed where they have all failed? Quite possible but too risky considering the fact that there are options without baggage’s available.
Mandzukic represents another viable option. He is an experienced striker both at club and international level but could be available for a cut-price after falling out with Guardiola. There are quite a number of clubs interested in him which means no guarantee that Arsenal would get him. He has no preference for any club but would see Arsenal as a club and might not be challenged since he is coming from all conquering Bayern. He might not be willing to take competition for places well enough.
Balotelli would see a move to Arsenal as yet another adventure is antics could ruin in a jiffy but Martinez would see Arsenal as a dream come true and a step forward in his career. Porto might be a good club but their dominance is only in Portugal and the Portuguese League is certainly below the Premier League.
Joining Arsenal would be a win/win situation for all concerned. Arsenal get to sign an experienced striker while Martinez get to join his dream club and play in a top league, arguably the world’s best.