Martins, 23, is understood to be the latest player looking to terminate his contract with Sporting after a section of the club’s fans attacked the players and staff at their training ground ahead of the Taca de Portugal final last month.
If that’s the case, the Portuguese — who has a €60m release clause in his contract — could be available on a free transfer this summer.
Martins’ current situation at Sporting throws back to the time when Arsenal had signed Santi Cazorla in 2012 from cash-hit Malaga. Although Cazorla had a €45m buy-out clause at the time, the Spanish club’s turbulent financial situation forced them to sell the playmaker for below £15m.
Cazorla went on to become a fantastic signing by Arsene Wenger. Despite enjoying an illustrious spell with Arsenal, the player struggled massively in the final few years of his tenure. In fact, he spent the vast majority of the last two years on the treatment table after suffering a nightmarish Achilles injury.
The playmaker is set to join Villarreal now but Wenger’s smart capture of Cazorla seems to have provided Unai Emery and Arsenal with the perfect blueprint to lure Martins away to the Emirates.
Martins currently finds himself in a chaotic scenario in Portugal and reportedly wants to leave the club this summer. After securing the signing of Stephen Liechtsteiner on a free transfer, it is time for Emery to step up his interest in Sporting’s Martins.
Arsenal have an array of attacking players but they lack an out-and-out winger. Alex Iwobi may come the closest to being a winger but he has rarely played on the flank. Danny Welbeck has been a constant fixture on the left but the Gunners have lacked a player in the mould of a traditional winger, following the departure of Theo Walcott to Everton in January.
Hence, the signing of a new winger is an absolute necessity and Arsenal could do well if they are able to snap up Martins from Portugal. Blessed with electric pace, trickery and dribbling skills, Martins is a true-blue wide attacker.
The player can feature on both wings and boasts of immense potential, making him a worthy candidate for a club like Arsenal.
The Portuguese starlet might not possess a burly figure but he can maintain possession in the trickiest of situations. A classic winger, Martins is well-known for his tricky footwork and flair on the ball. That said, his crossing can be wayward at times but it goes without saying that he is a delight to watch on his day.
Martins was one of Sporting’s standout performers last season with 13 goals and 13 assists in 52 appearances. He certainly has all the ingredients to be a top player for Arsenal.
It is high time that the Gunners intensify their interest in Martins after Sporting’s rejection of their first bid. If Emery is genuinely interested in the Portuguese star, he must attempt poaching Cazorla from Malaga. It will be tough to predict the outcome but it’s worth a shot, isn’t it?