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Martinez, Costa, Draxler… which one should we buy?

By Walter Broeckx

We are over the half way point of January and I notice some people getting nervous. And yes they are getting nervous about Arsenal not having signed anyone yet. I see again phrases coming up like: spend the f*cking money. And each name we get linked with and as usual there are a lot of names to be linked with they shout: buy him, get him, just pay for it.

And each and every name that gets mentioned is considered to be the ideal player to get us the title. If football only would be that simple…. Just buy one player and the title would be ours? Really….??

That might be true if you would buy a Messi or Ronaldo. Maybe. The latter combining again with Özil might be the answer to all our problems. Not that I see many problems with the players we have of course but that would be a transfer that I would say: okay, this is a league winning buy. But all the others? I don’t know to be honest if they would win us the title.

Am I against buying new players? No. And I never have been against it. But I am not the person to say who we should buy and state as a fact that he would win us the title (apart from Ronaldo for his understanding with Özil and thus slotting in without any problem I think). But I know all too well that Ronaldo (and Messi) are completely impossible to get to Arsenal. For the moment anyway. So no need to dream about it any further.

One of the names that is mentioned is Jackson Martinez who plays for Porto for the moment. The Colombian striker has confessed of being an Arsenal fan since his childhood and if we can believe the media (which is in general not a wise thing to do) has begged Arsenal to make a move for him.

Now I must say that his stats are rather good. In general in his career the 27 year old striker has a scoring average of 1 goal in 2 matches. At Porto this number is even higher over the last two seasons with almost 1 goal in every match.

So on the plus side we see a high goal scoring record and a player who supports Arsenal. On the negative side he cannot play in the champions league and possible 3rd party ownership and the fact Arsenal is staying away from those things as far as they possibly can.

Another player much mentioned is Diego Costa. A Spanish Brazilian, a bit like Eduardo was a Croatian Brazilian and he even has the same looks as Eduardo. He plays for Atletico Madrid for the moment and this season has been scoring lots of goals. But we have to be careful about that goal scoring record because this is the first season that the 25 year old striker can show such good numbers. 19 goals in 17 matches is of course an excellent record. But overall his record is somewhat of 1 goal in every 3 matches. Not bad of course but the numbers of this season cover up that before this season it was 1 goal in 4 matches.

On the plus side we could say (and hope) that he keeps his goal scoring form but it is not certain. On the negative side he can also not play in the champions league and we don’t know if he will continue his goal scoring at the same level as he does in Spain. And his situation with 3rd party ownership is also unclear for me.

Another name that is mentioned more and more is another player who has declared his love for Arsenal before. Julian Draxler the 20 year old German player has said before that Arsenal is one of his favourite clubs. A sign of intelligence of course and as Wenger likes intelligent players he is already having an advantage compared to others.

Now with Draxler the news has spread more and more over the last week. And I do admit that even in Germany the media are linking Draxler more and more with Arsenal. Our BFG talking about Draxler in glowing terms didn’t help to calm things down of course. The English media writing headlines like Wenger wanting to make Draxler the new Van Persie didn’t help either. That last headline left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth to be honest.

Now I know that lots of people have been urging Wenger to pay the £45,000,000 buy out clause for Draxler. If possible today and (time machine technology permitting) yesterday. And then we get again the “Wenger is dithering” phrases out again. The you-know-who is using this to launch another attack on Wenger. Wenger the ditherer and thus has to be replaced is the thinking behind it. They cannot attack him for the way the team has gone through the season so far, so they must use this transfer window to attack him. And Draxler is their ideal target to do this.

But should Wenger have already spent the cash (a considerable amount of cash by the way) on the 20 year old German international? First of all he is not an out and out striker. He plays more as an attacking midfielder. He only scores every 6th match in fact. But as he is only 20 years old this can still improve. We have seen it with Cesc in the past. We have seen it with Ramsey. And we might be seeing it with Jack at the moment. In the season before he had a 1 goal in 3 matches scoring record so much better. So this might be the usual blip that every young player faces after taking the big stage with  much noise (and goals and assists).

The fact that he likes the other German players at Arsenal could be helpful of course. But £45m is a lot of money. And there is one big big problem. Draxler has been injured since December and he is far from fit to play. He has a partial tear of a tendon in his thigh and has been visiting the German national team doctor Muller-Wohlfart this month. He can start training again from next week but even then he will have to be very careful in the next 14 days to not have a relapse. He will certainly miss the opening matches on January 26 as he will have to go back to doctor Muller-Wohlfart after that date and then might get the green light to start in full training. And than you will have to add another maybe 14 days to get back to match fitness.

So all in all this would mean that at the best he might be back around half February. If all goes well. So saying that Wenger should pay it now and not dither is a bit unfair I think. I can imagine the same people shouting abuse if Wenger would buy an injured player and if he then would get injured again they would be out in full force saying what an idiot he has been in buying in injured player. So Draxler seems to be a lose/lose thing for Wenger.

And then of course the fact that Draxler also will not be able to play in the champions league is another big negative point. So in my opinion Draxler is a gamble. For the moment. A very expensive gamble. A gamble an oiler club could take. But can a club like Arsenal afford a £45m gamble?

So things are not that easy for the moment and certainly not as simple as just shouting: spend the f*cking money.

Meanwhile I am more interested in how our injured players are. At least the one who should return in the short future. I am more interested in Arteta. And Ramsey. And Monreal. As they are players that have proven to be up the task. And we already have two players back with The Ox and Podolski that we didn’t have in the first half of the season. And with Gnabry stepping up we could say that we have a third player making it in to the first team.

You know what. I will just look at the players we have, care about them, worry about their fitness if they get injured. And whoever is out there and is mentioned…who cares as long as they are not Arsenal players I don’t have to think about them or long for them. I will long for the day that Ramsey is back and hopefully can continue his fine form. That will be much more important than whoever we buy.

Footnote: Mr Wenger today said, on the injuries, “Ramsey and Arteta are both out for this game. Vermaelen too. I personally believe the three will miss the Coventry game as well and will be available after that.”

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26 comments to Martinez, Costa, Draxler… which one should we buy?

  • The gunners

    Well said walter.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Third party ownership – I fear some players from South America have 5th party ownership as well as a substantial dividend to be paid to parents, brothers and pet bulldogs called Rosita. It isnt for nothing that Wenger said it would cost £145m? to sign Costa.
    Such signings are not for Arsenal. Martinez looks good from what I have seen, but a big step from his league to ours.
    Draxler looks more interesting, cannot see anything happening with an expensive injured this month, but in the summer, maybe the will is there on both parts? the danger…if we really do want him, we could get outbid in the summer, especially if he has a great WC, but that would apply to many of our targets I guess.Gives us a lot of attacking MFs though unless someone departs…or unless he really is to be another RVP or even false 9. Unless of course this summer marks the return of an old favorite who has this season done well as a false 9, but has just been displaced by Messi? Or could Pedro be another cheaper option?
    But if for whatever reason we dont get Draxler this winter, watch the media state this as a coup for Daniel Levy holding back Holtby to prevent this transfer.
    TBH, with NB and Sanogo coming back, and with Poldi available, wonder if Wenger might give forwards a miss this winter, really do not see realistic targets for us out there.
    As well as forwards, an equal case could be for the defence, an injury or suspension…or two to our fine CBs, and we could be in trouble, we have Vermaelen and maybe Sagna but not much else
    But as you say, back who we have, hope this spate of injuries subsides, look forward to the return of Rambo….and hopefully, soon some positive news on a few extended contracts….

  • The footnote reads like a very positive news to me. If the 3 mentioned players aren’t facing Fulham, there is really no need to play them against Coventry anyway. It is great news that they’ll be available for the Southampton trip.

    “You know what. I will just look at the players we have, care about them, worry about their fitness if they get injured. And whoever is out there and is mentioned…who cares as long as they are not Arsenal players I don’t have to think about them or long for them. I will long for the day that Ramsey is back and hopefully can continue his fine form. That will be much more important than whoever we buy.”

    My sentiment exactly! I think many of the “buy brigade” are just a covetous lot.

  • soglorious

    Walter, I’ll put your words quoted by Boo in this form; a bird in hand is worth five in the bush. How I hope this will sink into people’s head.

  • AL

    Well put. This current team is the same team that is responsible for amassing 48 points from 21 games, taking them to the top of the table. Why not trust the same team to repeat what it did in 21 games in 17 games? Can anyone explain to me why this team should be changed? Ok, maybe not changed, but why fix something that’s not broken? I’ve no doubt a lot of fans with that sentiment are reacting to the media that has always been sounding like there’s impending disaster which is about to befall our team since the opening day of the season.

    I laugh when I read reports on sites like the daily wail asking people to vote on who they think will win between mourinho and pellegrini. And the pundits who keep saying Arsenal will not win it despite all the evidence pointing to a different scenario.

  • Well Arsene Knows who cares about the rest, we will wait n see what the Prof has for us in store. But remember he told us if he was to buy he will buy quality ooh I like that word.

  • @Al ha ha ha ha ha haha ha I liked that the Daily wail those Muppets,i just hate them.

  • Ben

    Not only that for Draxler if Arsenal does buy him when he is injured is that the club has to pay his medical bills no?
    I think the club would not mind that if he was cheaper as isnt that what they did with Kanu?

  • AL,

    With your confessed love for Daily Wail, I think you are going to really enjoy this insightful piece:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2539135/With-Premier-Leagues-seven-winning-weekend-predict-season-play-reveal-new-champions.html

    No need to thank me. I do all I can to entertain fellow positive Gooners like yourself.

    You are welcome 🙂

  • @Bootoomee as AL said they are good at wailing.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Questions , questions…..

    AAAA : May I hold your hand?
    GIRL : No thanks, it isn’t heavy.

    AAAA : Say you love me! Say you love me!
    GIRL : You love me…

    GIRL : If we become engaged will you give me a ring??
    AAAA : Sure, what’s your phone number??

    AAAA : Darling, I want to dance like this forever.
    GIRL : Don’t you ever want to improve??

    AAAA : I love you and I could die for you!
    GIRL : How soon??

    AAAA : I would go to the end of the world for you!
    GIRL : Yes, but would you stay there??

    Teacher : “Which is more important to us, the sun or the moon?”
    AAAA : “The moon”.
    Teacher : “Why?”
    AAAA : “The moon gives us light at night when we need it but the sun gives us light only in the day time when we don’t need it”.

    AAAA : “What are the chances of my recovering doctor?”
    Doctor : “One hundred percent. Medical records show that nine out of ten people die of the disease you have. Yours is the tenth case I’ve treated. The others
    all died”.

    Tony is so old that when he was in school, history was called current affairs.

    OOOPPSSS !

  • Mandy Dodd

    Remember the howls of anguish from our critics as we missed out on media appointed targets such as Jovetic, M Vila, Capoue, Sahin, Samba and so many others…..and thankfully we did miss out on that lot!
    They are now talking up Vucinic…..whatever….

  • STEVE VALLINS

    Mandy am i right in thinking that Jovetic was out for a goo d three quarters of a season with a knee injury so it would have been a big chance for him to hit the season scoreing goals as we can see no goals and hardly any starts

  • Pete

    Never mind all this rubbish, the really important signings would be of Mert, Sagna, Rosicky and – most important of all – Wenger! And the news coming out today for at least 3 of those was very exciting…!

    Sign da ting…

  • Mandy Dodd

    Think he has been injured Steve…in fairness to him. There was always speculation he may be a bit lightweight for this league….and cannot see him getting a look in at city for the moment

  • Valentin

    If Diego Costa were to join a club in the premiership, I suspect that he would be the next Soldado. Very good in Spain, but not so good in England. Unable to bully defenders the same way he can in Spain. Also Diego Costa is an hard worker, his first touch is not necessarily very good. Maybe a small upgrade on Giroud in term of scoring, but maybe not as good in term of link up play.

    Draxler makes more sense, but converting him to striker would be more like a long term project. I am not sure that he would be able to help for the remainder of the season.

    Hopefully Yaya Sanogo is now fit and can help us for the rest of 2014.

  • AL

    Bootoomee
    I know you said no need to thank you but will say it all the same; thanks for making day 🙂

  • Tom

    Al
    To answer your question let me say I trust this team to continue doing what they have been doing thus far, however that might not be enough seeing how that would only be good enough for 86.85 points at the end of the season and 89 points was a total tally for PL champions in each of the last two years

    Why fix something which is not broken? , you ask. Perhaps a better question might be why not improve something that can be improved, if it could help you win the title , or two? 🙂

  • Tom

    Soglorious
    It depends who’s bush we are talking about. 🙂

  • Tom

    Walter
    I would be surprised to see either of those players brought in ,if their lofty release clauses are reported correctly by the media.
    You can forget about Costa seeing as he and Mourinho share the same agent. Jose would get Costa just to spite Wenger if he knew Arsen was after the striker.

  • para

    Martinez seems to be the one fitted to Arsenal for me, i like the way he focus on getting the ball in the net, come whatever. But who ever is bought will be most likely bought in summer, as we are going to be back in the market for players to continue the push to be the top. We know AW will only buy to improve the team, and i hope we do not get any(more) injuries that causes a panic buy. I really cant see anyone coming this Jan though.

  • Gord

    I seen the title of the article, and was avoiding it. But Wenger’s UFO comment got me thinking, and this would seemingly be the place to put it.

    Arsenal installs a set (1, 2, more?) of tracks on the perimeter of the training grounds. Each track can take little “cars” onto which a person can mount a cardboard cutout with a photograph of someone on it (lifesize). And the Arsenal staff look at the daily (crap) rumours. Maybe they say Tony Adams is in town, and saying blah blah. Okay, set a Tony Adams cutout on the tracks. So lately they would have Draxler. Maybe a cutout of him in a wheel chair? And if there isn’t enough rumours, I can imagine players at Arsenal liking to see cutouts of Henry, Bergcamp, Pires, and so on. And then, all these dumb articles are correct: so and so was spotted at Arsenal training. But it wasn’t the person, it’s just a picture of that person.

    Actually, for “spacefillers” like Henry, maybe a person makes the cutout at 1.5 times lifesize?

    It would be an unnecessary expense, but it could also be fun.

  • nekuhan

    Buy in January, prices will skyrocket after WC in Brazil, and win something THIS season!
    All the following players are ready to be taken for our weak positions:
    1. Forward Jackson Martinez – Porto out of CL, right age, last chance for him to get a contract in a big club, cheaper than J.Draxler, both feet + head, very physical (good point Para, he is a beast!) but also intelligent and subtle poacher, real forward better than Giroud, fits our style, OK for EPL (be assured Mandy Dodd!) and … wants to play for Arsenal FC!!
    2. Defender Joleon Lescott – not happy at MChity, ready for EPL and a pay-cut, would work well in our team, experienced and … wants to play for West Ham just to get out!? So, Arsenal anybody?
    3. Goalkeeper Iker Casilas – not happy at RealM, the best keeper in the world, mentor for our young keepers … what are you asking more?
    4. And J.Draxler? Super player, but too expensive for the moment, young and injured, not real forward yet. Better to get him in 1-2 years, more experience and lower price.
    Common AFC, make a winning team and make us happy!

  • Armin

    I don’t know why such fuzz about buying striker. If I remember Bendtner, Podolski and Sanogo are still in our books? Aren’t they? And if I understand well, we only need backup for Giroud. So one of 3 I mentioned earlier were supposed to be backup for backup backup. I am afraid its a bit too expensive.
    Right now, I don’t see reason why we need anyone, except maybe backup for Jenk if in some parallel universe Bac decide to be asshole and leave now (but its pure SF scenario).
    And to buy Draxler for such huge amount? No I cant imagine that. I just cant imagine Arsene buying player for that amount of money who wont have immediate impact. When buying Ozil, Le Boss knew if not strength boost it will be moral boost for sure, and decided to pay him.
    I don’t say we shouldn’t buy, but I totally support Arsene in “if there is right player for right price”.
    Btw we can hardly buy anyone who is better than squad we have. Sorry @nekuhan but if I can choose I’d rather keep TV than buy Lescot, beside, you really think there is difference for Lescot in sitting on Arsenal or City bench? Yes there is he would earn less sitting on ours. Or you think he is better than Per or Kos? And with all respect to Casillas, right now I don’t think he is better than Szczęsny.

  • Gooner S

    I read a few blogs. I haven’t seen the bloggers writing “spend some f*****g money” just recently. Perhaps I’m not looking hard enough? There are always the comments sections but even in there I dont think its quite so virulent as earlier on in the season. There’s always one or two though.

    Yes, there are bloggers that are saying we should buy. No doubt if we don’t buy and we fall short in the league the virulence will return for some.

    I’m sure if we can do the deals for the right players, at the right price, there will be additions. If not we will wait for the summer.

  • Martinez – no thanks. Stats in easy (compared to the PL) leagues don’t impress that much.
    Costa – watched a bit of him since the rumours. Seems like a good player but in truth I would rather bring Eduardo back.

    Draxler – yes please. I think Wenger is on to something with this kid in terms of turning him into a forward. Could be as good as RVP (or better!). Worth the risk in my view.