Which striker would Arsenal fans prefer…?
According to the Mirror, Arsenal could go all out to sign either Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa, or FC Porto’s Jackson Martinez this January.
The Gunners have limited options in the centre-forward role, with the currently injured Nicklas Bendtner the only experienced, natural striker as backup to Olivier Giroud.
As a result, Arsene Wenger could enter the transfer market to bring in a player to strengthen his side’s title push, and Costa and Martinez are two of the highest profile names that have been mentioned.
This season, only two players in Europe have scored more goals in their respective leagues than Diego Costa. The powerful Brazilian (who is probably going to play for Spain at the World Cup) has scored 19 goals in 19 starts, for his side that sit jointly at the top of La Liga table.
Martinez has not been quite as prolific, but has still been impressive. He’s notched 15 in all competitions, including two in the Champions League.
Apart from this season though, Martinez has a better recent goalscoring record than Costa. In the past two and a half seasons, Martinez has scored 69 goals for Chiapas in Mexico, and then Porto in Portugal, while Costa has managed 51 for Rayo Vallecano and Atletico in La Liga.
Granted, Costa has been playing in a harder competition, but the way Martinez continued to score goals once he moved to Europe shows his adaptability and clinical finishing ability.
Strengths and weaknesses:
Costa is an immense physical presence on the football field, and has outstanding work-rate. He draws fouls regularly, competes for every ball, and manipulates defenders with his brute strength. He is not very quick, but makes up for it with his unselfish attitude and excellent hold up play.
Martinez is a more natural goalscorer. He does much less work outside the box than Costa, but has an extra yard of pace, and can similarly finish off either foot. When he isn’t scoring goals, he can drift in an out of the game though, and doesn’t work as hard as the Atletico forward.
Pedigree, and value for money:
Costa (25) is two years younger than Martinez (27), but both players have recently entered their prime.
Both players have release clauses between £30m and £40m, and it’s likely that Arsenal would have to meet Costa’s clause for Atletico to sell. Porto also traditionally demand large funds for their star players (Falcao cost Atletico £35m, and James Rodriguez cost Monaco even more), so Arsenal will likely have to shell out a whopping transfer fee to land either of the forwards.
Costa’s highlight video:
Martinez’s highlight video: