Jackson Martinez

One of the most prolific strikers in Europe over the last couple of seasons is the 27-year old Colombian Jackson Martinez, whose scoring for FC Porto has brought the attention of many big clubs around Europe, with Chelsea looking like the most interested party to sign him.

Martinez has scored 34 league goals in 40 matches since arriving from Chiapas in Mexico to Porto. He was signed for $11 million, but as you can expect, Porto do not sell for anything less than €25-30 million. Juventus have already shown interest this summer, but Porto wanted to hang on to their star for at least one more season, being the only main goalscoring threat the team currently has.

Jose Mourinho isn’t exactly happy with the striker situation he has going on. Samuel Eto’o is injured and in any case is simply over the hill. He has scored 4 goals in 13 matches, but he has too many in matches in which he is hardly felt or contributes in any way if the goals don’t come.

The scoring record for Fernando Torres is similar: 5 goals in 13 matches, only Torres does a bit more on the pitch than Eto’o in terms of both defensive work and the ability to set up other players. However, Mourinho prefers Eto’o as his leading man after being disappointed with Torres early on in the season.

There’s also Demba Ba, the forgotten man in this trio, scoring only one goal in 8 matches this season and barely getting chances, even off the bench, to try and win back a place in the lineup or at least in Mourinho’s precious rotation.

Is Martinez the answer? Mourinho has a connection to Porto and an eye for players who succeed in the Portuguese league, having done so well for them themselves. Still, it’s rare to see a big team like Chelsea throw so much money on a player who isn’t too young, coming from a lower-tier club like Porto. Martinez hasn’t done anything special in the Champions League to merit any worldwide recognition of his special talents, which might mean the Chelsea interest is superficial, nothing more.

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