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Arsenal are making steps towards the signing of Ajax’s Lisandro Martinez, with the player keen on joining the Gunners, according to David Ornstein of The Athletic
Martinez is a versatile defender, operating as both a centre-back and defensive midfielder, as well as being capable of playing left-back when needed. The versatility apparent in the 24-year-old's game has drawn Arteta to him.
Ornstein reports that Arsenal have already had a €30 million bid for the South American rejected, but that Edu and co. “will keep pushing” to get the deal done.
The aforementioned versatility appears to be the methodology the Gunners are taking in the transfer market this summer, with all reputable links being to players capable of operating in multiple positions. Portuguese u21 captain Fabio Vieira is in a similar position, capable of playing on the wings, both sides of a midfield three, and as a shadow striker or false nine.
A move for the Argentine represents the next step of Arteta’s project, signing players that simultaneously raise the ceiling and floor of the squad. Martinez would provide intense competition for Brazilian CB Gabriel, who had no real LCB competition last season.
Additionally, with reports that Nuno Tavares is set to leave on loan next season, Martinez provides technical and defensive security behind Kieran Tierney, who has been plagued by injuries since joining the Gunners in 2019.
Time will tell whether Arsenal can get a move for Martinez over the line, however, as the deal for Fabio Vieira shows, the Gunners are working in the shadows this summer, so the progress of any deal may be far further ahead than fans imagine.
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