Porto’s Jackson Martinez has been heavily linked with Arsenal over the last few days, whilst Sevilla’s Carlos Bacca has intrigued Manchester United according to reports. However, with these two both on show for Colombia in the Copa America next month, which forward would suit the Premier League best?
Before we get started on Colombian forwards, it is worth mentioning that the last major import, Radamel Falcao, failed spectacularly. However, with these two not having just recovered from a career-threatening injury, their signings would be the real deal.
And besides, what about the likes of Juan Pablo Angel and Hamilton Ricard? The South American nation has a reputation for growing coffee beans, but should instead be world renowned for producing top strikers!
Both strikers have impeccable goalscoring records having spent no more than a few years with their current clubs. Bacca starred for Brugge in Belgium, scoring 31 times in 54 games, but has shone in Sevilla since his move in 2013. 49 goals in 108 appearances is a fantastic record, especially for a side that has evolved year in year out. Two strikes in the Europa League Final this week also proved his ability to produce on the big stage.
Martinez however takes this one having thrashed in a whopping 92 goals in 133 games since his move from Mexican side Chiapas. Despite playing for a title-chasing side in the Portuguese league, Martinez’s 8 Champions League goals this season prove he has the capability to play at a much higher level.
Both have had to play second fiddle to Radamel Falcao during their international careers to date, but that could change after the United man’s calamitous season. With Juan Cuadrado and James Rodriguez providing the ammunition, it is no surprise that both Bacca and Martinez have decent goalscoring records already for Colombia.
Martinez has more goals; 10 in 35 caps, including two at last summer’s World Cup. Bacca has had to make do with a place on the bench for these big games having come onto the international scene later, and has only scored in friendlies. Despite a record of 7 goals in 17 caps, Bacca can’t prove himself as Colombia’s number one striker whilst Martinez and Falcao are preferred by Jose Pekerman.
United fans may wish they’d spent their money on the striker on the right instead!
Value is a big one as Premier League clubs may baulk at the size of the price tags both Sevilla and Porto will put on their key men.
Bacca has been valued at around £21 million after his Europa League exploits, and due to his meteoric rise to the top. Sevilla are a selling club too (unlikely to change even with Champions League football), so it may be easier to negotiate.
The same could go for Porto too, who have sold on some notable talent during the last few years (including Falcao), but Martinez would undoubtedly cost more. There has been some talk of a £24 million release clause that Arsenal are keen to trigger, which is interesting as Martinez nears the conclusion of his contract with Porto. With both strikers in their peak at 28 years old, paying over the odds for them would go against many club’s transfer policies. Neither will be cheap, but with Bacca beginning to emerge at the top level he could be the best bet in terms of value. With all the attributes to succeed, just like Martinez, his lower transfer fee would pose a lesser risk for any Premier League club willing to splash out on him.