Arsenal have registered their interest in signing Inter striker Lautaro Martinez this summer.
What’s the story?
Now, The Telegraph claim that the Gunners have set their sights on Martinez, with an inquiry having been made for the Argentina international.
The report adds that the north London side are embarking on a more ambitious summer transfer window, with the club keen to bridge the gap to the top four under Arteta.
Shades of Alexis Sanchez
The £72m-rated Martinez has established himself as one of the top marksmen in Serie A football over the past few seasons, and enjoyed an impressive campaign for Inter in the one just gone by – he netted 17 goals and provided another ten assists in 38 league games.
Barcelona star Lionel Messi has waxed lyrical about his Argentine teammate, telling Mundo Deportivo: “Lautaro is an impressive forward, especially because I think he is a very complete striker: he is strong, he dribbles well, he has a goal, he knows how to protect the ball.”
He added: “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.”
That ability to work hard off the ball despite his obvious technical quality is something very much reminiscent of Alexis Sanchez in his prime at Arsenal.
His former Gunners teammate, Carl Jenkinson, said: “On the ball he’s fantastic and people know what he offers and what he can bring, and just to see his work rate is great. People underestimate how hard he works sometimes because people always look at what he can do with the ball, but his work rate is exceptional.”
While Sanchez predominantly played off the left-wing, Arsene Wenger did use him through the middle on occasion as his side’s number nine, hoping his pressing, movement off the ball and eye for goal could lead the line well – in fact, in the 37 games that the Arsenal boss played him as a striker, the Chilean scored 20 times and set up another 13.
Letting Lacazette go this summer, and bringing in Martinez, who very much has shades of Sanchez in his game, could be a real coup for the Gunners as they look to compete once more.