Robert Pires thinks Arsenal should sign Anthony Martial and Sokratis Papastathopoulos this summer, after recent media links to both players.
Martial has really had trouble getting consistent starts for Manchester United this season. Friday’s match was his 18th league start of the season, which is only half of his side’s games.
Pires admits he really likes the player, and would happily see him make the swap to Arsenal.
“I’m a big fan of Anthony Martial,” he said. “He’s very fast, he has excellent dribbling skills and he has the potential to score a lot of goals, but I think he has to play more football.
“I don’t know why he isn’t playing more for Manchester United and Jose Mourinho needs to show more confidence in him. I would welcome him at Arsenal.”
Meanwhile, Mourinho himself made no attempts to keep the French forward happy after Friday’s clash with Brighton. He told the media afterwards that it should be obvious now why Romelu Lukaku is ahead of his fellow forwards in the pecking order.
“For 10 months I get asked ‘why always Lukaku? Why always Lukaku? Why always this player?'” Mourinho said. “‘That guy doesn’t have a chance to start, the other one is on the bench’. You know why now.”
Martial’s contract only lasts until 2019, and it doesn’t seem like Mourinho is going anywhere. Perhaps a summer move could really be on the cards this time around.
At the other end of the pitch, the media have linked Arsenal to Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis this week. Pires says this is another deal he could get behind.
“I think improving the defence must be a priority for the new manager and I think Sokratis Papastathopoulos would be a very good signing,” he explained. “He’s been a consistent performer for Borussia Dortmund and I would like to see him lead the defensive line for Arsenal.”
The main reservations from Arsenal fans are that it doesn’t seem like Sokratis has had a particularly impressive campaign, and he’ll be 30 in June. If he’s not going to step in and perform immediately, the club are just taking on more ageing dead wood.
We’ll see if either rumoured transfer really has any truth to it in the coming months.