Unai Emery quoted £30m to complete Arsenal’s third summer signing

After signing Stephan Lichtsteiner, Unai Emery is now on course to bring in Sokratis Papastathopoulos, so he can turn his attention to signing Portuguese winger, Gelson Martins from Sporting Lisbon.

The Express suggests that Arsenal have been quoted a transfer fee of around £39 million, which is £13 million above what the Gunners have offered for the Portuguese wing wizard.

However, Martins would offer the crucial component of width. He has completed 2.7 successful dribbles per 90 minutes, more than any winger who played in more than 28 Primeira Liga games in 2017-18 and none of his positional rivals have managed more than his assist tally of eight. In all competitions, he scored 13 times in 52 matches last term, making it the best season of his career to date; and he is still relatively young at 23.

We can see via the heatmaps that Martins hugs the touchline, something which Arsenal’s current wide men do not tend to do. Henrikh Mkhitaryan likes to dribble into central areas, Alex Iwobi will move inside and shift the ball quickly and while Mesut Ozil and Danny Welbeck have previously played out wide, they would describe themselves as a number ten and striker respectively.

Martins would not be easy to attract though. Not only is he contracted to his club until 2021 with a £53 million release clause, he is also expected to feature at the World Cup for Portugal, who are likely to at least make the quarter-finals.

It is possible that the Cape Verde born man might want to wait before making a decision until his tournament in Russia is concluded, when bigger offers might be on the table.

If we can get our man though, he would bring unique qualities to the squad.


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