Arsenal deal for Dries Mertens would send the wrong message to Gabriel Martinelli

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…

Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing Dries Mertens on a free transfer when his contract comes to an end in the summer, as reported by Il Mattino (via Sport Witness).

They are set to battle with Tottenham Hotspur, Juventus and Internazionale to get the 32-year-old on their books ahead of next season.

This could be a brilliant move if the Gunners pull it off, due to the fact that they would be getting someone who made 27 goal contributions in the league last campaign.

He has carried on his prolific touch this season, getting 7 goals across 12 starts and 3 substitute appearances in Serie A and the Champions League.

While this could definitely be a positive sign for the club, it would send the completely wrong message to Gabriel Martinelli.

The 18-year-old has been a revelation since joining the Gunners from Ituano in the summer, scoring 7 goals and getting 1 assist in 5 starts and 4 substitute appearances across all competitions.

This is a very impressive return, considering his age and how new he is to the club.

His electric opening suggests he will eventually be rewarded further down the line with a more prominent role in the team in the Premier League.

But with both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette already ahead of him in the pecking order, a move for Mertens would add an extra layer of intensity to the competition.

Can Gabriel Martinelli make it to 15 starts this season?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Therefore, seeing Arsenal bring in somebody like Mertens, who would likely get in the team ahead of him due to the aforementioned goal statistics, would surely be demoralising for the Brazilian.

It is important that Martinelli is not hyped up too much just yet but there is enough evidence to suggest he’s a player with the potential to make a profound impact in north London.

The Gunners should be looking to mould him into someone who can lead the line for years to come, rather than bringing someone in who will block his route into the first-team.

Article title: Arsenal deal for Dries Mertens would send the wrong message to Gabriel Martinelli

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