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Arsenal linked with Lautaro Martinez transfer

We’ve heard this story before, haven’t we?

Udinese Calcio v FC Internazionale - Serie A Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

The Lautaro Martinez to Arsenal transfer rumor is once again making the rounds. Mikel Arteta has said the club are in the market for one or two strikers / attackers, so it’s no surprise this particular story has reemerged. The Gunners were linked with the Argentine international over the summer but did not make the move. Soon after the window closed, Inter Milan inked him to a new deal that runs through the end of 2026. The Nerazzurri have reportedly placed between a £60M and £70M price tag on the 24-year old striker.

The Gunners have been linked with a host of attackers, including Victor Osimhen, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Drawin Nunez, Tammy Abraham, Gabriel Jesus, Jonathan David, Alexander Isak, and Dusan Vlahovic (before his move to Juventus) to name a few. I would not be surprised if more names emerge as we get closer and into the summer transfer window.

Given Arsenal’s pressing need for a striker — Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are both out of contract and likely to leave the club — I’d expect Mikel Arteta to move quickly once the window opens. Whoever signs will be joining as a near-every-match starter and will need as much time as possible to get comfortable with his teammates, Arteta’s systems, and English football.

Martinez is a fantastic player who would excel at Arsenal. He gets into the box (87th percentile in penalty area touches), creates shots (86th percentile), takes shots (97th percentile), and scores (84th percentile in xG, 79th in goals - data from fbref). That checks all the boxes for the Gunners. The team desperately needs someone to get on the end of chances and put them in the back of the net. The only concern is his height. At 5’8, he doesn’t offer much in the air, although we’ve already seen how well a small, Argentine striker can do in the Premier League. That Sergio Aguero guy did pretty well for himself.

Arsenal are not the only Premier League club kicking the tires on Martinez — Manchester United and Tottenham are said to be interested as well. For what it’s worth, his agent reportedly told the Italian media that he will not be leaving Inter Milan in the summer, but I don’t think that’s worth the paper it’s printed on. Inter have financial issues and seemed prepared to sell him last summer. I have no idea whether he will move this summer, but I’m confident that saying that he won’t move, categorically, is inaccurate and / or agent-speak to drive interest and the price tag.

At this point, I don’t think it’s a question of will Arsenal bring in a striker in the summer transfer window — they’re absolutely buying. And it’ll be their biggest price tag spend of the summer, I’d bet. It’s down to which one (or two) and at what price. We can debate (because it’s fun!) who might be the best fit, but I’m going to trust Mikel Arteta to bring in the right guy for his setup. Last summer’s track record earned him the benefit of the doubt.