Arsenal tipped to axe forward if Edu captures £60m Serie A star, though one big concern emerges

Federico Chiesa and Lautaro Martinez

A pundit reckons Arsenal will let an attacker leave the Emirates if sporting director Edu is successful in his pursuit of Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez.

The Argentine striker began the Qatar World Cup as Lionel Scaloni’s first-choice number nine. However, he soon lost his place to Manchester City forward Julian Alvarez after missing several big chances.

Martinez will be delighted with his country’s World Cup triumph, though he may have some slight regrets about not playing as big of a role as he would have hoped.

Clearly, the 25-year-old feels he has a point to prove and has been in electric form with Inter of late. He has managed eight goals in his last 10 appearances throughout all competitions. Martinez has even captained Inter in some of those matches while usual skipper Samir Handanovic has been on the bench.

Martinez’s blistering form has resulted in Premier League clubs starting to pursue him once again. On February 13, TEAMtalk exclusively revealed Arsenal, Man Utd and Chelsea are considering summer bids.

And Arsenal appeared to move into pole position for the Serie A goalscorer not long after that. Football Insider’s Pete O’Rourke claims Martinez would be ‘very keen’ on joining Mikel Arteta’s side if they started negotiations for him.

Gabby Agbonlahor has now given his opinion on Martinez potentially moving to Arsenal. The former striker reckons Martinez will only be worth it if Arsenal pay £60m or less for him. This is due to a big concern surrounding his lack of pace.

But if the player does end up signing, then his arrival may see Eddie Nketiah loaned out for next season.

‘Good business’ if Arsenal land Inter player for £60m 

“I think it depends on the fee itself. If Arsenal can get the cost down to £60m then I think it’d be good business,” Agbonlahor said during an interview with Football Insider.

“Nketiah could be allowed to go on loan and Martinez would join Gabriel Jesus as Arsenal’s two main strikers.

“But anything more than £60m I think is too much. He’s not quick at all – he’s a good finisher but there is a major lack of pace to demand a transfer fee that large.”

READ MORE: Trusted journalist urges fans to ‘keep an eye on Chelsea’ in attacker pursuit, as Arsenal interested confirmed but Man Utd ruled out

Nketiah has done well for the most part while Jesus has been recovering from knee surgery. The Englishman has scored four goals in the Premier League. He also netted twice in an FA Cup win over Oxford United.

However, it will be a major boost for Arteta once Jesus returns. The latter has the experience needed to lead a forward line during a title race.

Nketiah will feel aggrieved if Martinez arrives to compete with Jesus for a starting spot up front. Arteta trusts Nketiah and gives him game time as often as he can (whenever Jesus is unavailable).

However, if Arsenal are to maintain their position towards the top of the table in future seasons, then players with Martinez’s quality need to be brought in.

Another player who would be disappointed by Martinez joining is Folarin Balogun. He is excelling on loan at Stade Reims and will be aiming to fight for a starting spot on his return to north London next season.

The only positive for Balogun, if there is no room for him at Arsenal, is that he is picking up interest from plenty of teams. A report has revealed exactly how many Premier League clubs might bid for him in the summer transfer window.