Arsenal have already brought two players in this transfer window, with Nuno Tavares and Albert Sambi Lokonga arriving at the Emirates, but their work is by no means over.
The Gunners are still in the market for a central midfielder, creative midfielder, goalkeeper and a right-back, too, this summer, football.london understands.
However, the transfer market can be unpredictable and when opportunities present themselves out of the blue, clubs have to be ready to seize them.
It is for that reason why Mikel Arteta‘s side have been linked with spending up to £40million on a centre forward this week, despite not necessarily needing one right now.
The 23-year-old is around the age profile Arsenal are looking to sign this window and possesses the ability to link play that Arteta values so highly in his number nines, yet questions still remain over how wise the signing would be.
These revolve mostly around the price tag and the fact that the England international fell behind Olivier Giroud and the misfiring Timo Werner in the pecking order at Stamford Bridge last season, but it’s worth also considering what his arrival would mean for Gabriel Martinelli.
Martinelli found game time hard to come by last season despite making an immediate impact on the Gunners’ side after returning to action following a six-month injury lay-off around Christmas.
As a result, there has been plenty of concern over the lack of a clear pathway to the first team that the Brazilian is currently being afforded.
Many have touted him as a potential centre-forward but right now Alexandre Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah and Folarin Balogun are all also competing for that starting spot which is most likely to go to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who Arteta has played almost exclusively as a forward since May rather than on the wing.
Throw Abraham into the mix and it would be potentially five players ahead of Martinelli in the race to be Arsenal’s number nine.
Admittedly Nketiah and Lacazette could both leave this summer given that they have one year remaining on their contracts at the Emirates, and Balogun’s promotion to the first team was only officially confirmed earlier this month, but the fact that the Gunners are looking at Abraham might suggest that a decision has finally been made of Martinelli’s future.
As previously mentioned, the Brazilian has been seen by some as destined to end up in the middle of the forward line due to comparisons between him and his compatriot, Ronaldo Nazario.
When asked last season where exactly he saw the 19-year-old’s best position going forward, Arteta kept his cards relatively close to his chest.
“Time will tell [if he’s a number 9]” said the Spaniard. “But I would like to develop him in both positions because I think he’s got the potential to do both.”
When you consider that it seems to have been decided that Aubameyang is now a centre-forward, bringing in Abraham as well would perhaps imply that Arteta has changed his mind since then and now views Martinelli as a left-winger for the coming campaign.
Arsenal have plenty of exciting options in Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe and Emile Smith Rowe who could play the position, but it would seem to present a more obvious passage to first-team minutes than competing for the number nine role – if Abraham came in.
From the player’s perspective, this is probably welcome news as he himself has admitted that he prefers it coming in from the left wing to cut in on his right.
“I like to play open and I play quite centrally, but I prefer to start wide,” said Martinelli in 2020.
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It’s probably too early to draw too many conclusions right now about where the Brazilian’s future will end up.
He is currently away on Olympics duty with his national team, and until he returns to begin training with Arteta to train again it is difficult to know for sure what the Spaniard’s plans for him are.
But with Abraham linked it seems Arsenal have a specific type of centre-forward in mind as they look to move on from Lacazette. Martinelli may well not be it.