Scouting report: Gelson Martins

Arsenal are interested in signing Atletico Madrid winger Gelson Martins, per A Bola.

The forward is currently on loan at AS Monaco, having joined Atleti in the summer after terminating his contract with Sporting Lisbon.

Since his move to Ligue 1, Martins has been in excellent form and the aforementioned report suggests that has led to serious interest from the Gunners.

Football FanCast takes a closer look at the Portugal international, who Transfermarkt value at £25.2million, and how he has been performing this season…

What has he done this season?

Martins left Atletico in January after a poor start to the season.

In 12 games for the Spanish club, he scored just once, in a Copa del Rey encounter against lower-league Sant Andreu.

Indeed, across those games, he played 90 minutes once, in that aforementioned cup encounter.

Since his move to Monaco, however, Martins appears to have rediscovered his mojo.

He laid on an assist in his debut against Toulouse and then scored three in three, in games against Montpellier, FC Nantes and Lyon.

A virtuoso performance against Guingamp in the French League Cup saw him lay on two assists in a 2-2 draw, prior to a 5-4 penalty shootout defeat. Martins did not take a spot-kick.

What will he bring?

Martins was the jewel in Sporting’s crown for quite some time, such is his dribbling ability and lightning pace.

Fleet-footed and remarkably adept at going past defenders, Martins played 140 times for the Portuguese club, scoring 27 goals and laying on 30 assists.

His exceptional speed and trickery even saw him likened to Cristiano Ronaldo by Benfica’s president, Domingos Stanislau. That’s a bit like Arsenal’s chairman waxing lyrical over Dele Alli.

Since his move to Ligue 1, where he is free of the confines of Atleti’s more rigid, defensive system, Martins has averaged 2.7 shots per game, 1 key pass per game and 1.9 dribbles per game, per WhoScored.

What must he improve?

He has also averaged a total of 3.4 unsuccessful touches across 90 minutes, while he rarely tracks back; he averages one tackle per game.

Martins is obviously capable of the spectacular and he is clearly trusted by his managers – he has won a total of 21 caps for Portugal – but there are deficiencies in his game.

He would bring searing pace and exciting trickery to Arsenal’s right-hand side but he is perhaps not the most consistent player, nor is he assiduous in defence.

If he is to work under Unai Emery, he may have to sharpen up both in attack and in defence.