Real Madrid forward Marco Asensio is no longer a target for Arsenal, with Gabriel Martinelli’s performances influencing the Gunners’ decision.
According to a report by Catalan outlet El Nacional, Marco Asensio does not feature on Arsenal’s shortlist of targets anymore. The Gunners could be targetting a move for a striker instead of signing a winger, with Gabriel Martinelli’s impressive performances providing reassurance to manager Mikel Arteta.
Marco Asensio has been scripting a solid turnaround in form and fortunes after a difficult year following his return from a layoff due to a long-term knee injury. The 25-year-old had also started the ongoing campaign slowly, but has chipped in with some notable contributions of late.
The Spanish international has amassed seven goals and one assist in 23 appearances across all competitions for Real Madrid this term. But Asensio has had to share game-time with Rodrygo Goes and Lucas Vazquez, as Vinicius Jr. and Karim Benzema are resounding first-choice options in the other two attacking positions.
The Spaniard has thus been considering his Real Madrid future, with several European bigwigs showing an interest in him. Liverpool, Newcastle United and Sevilla have been linked with Asensio at different stages this season, with Arsenal also among his prospective suitors.
The interest from Arsenal could have been stemming from Nicolas Pepe’s inconsistencies, with the Ivory Coast international failing to impress Mikel Arteta. But Gabriel Martinelli’s recent displays have changed Arteta’s mind, as the Brazilian forward has been influential in earning Arsenal a few wins.
With Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka also being superb this season, the need to sign a wide-attacker has disappeared for Arsenal. Instead, it looks like the Gunners could be targetting a striker amid uncertainties surrounding the futures of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah. To that end, several strikers have been linked with them, including Alexander Isak.
Arsenal’s stance over signing Asensio has come as a major blow for the Real Madrid forward, who was open to joining the north Londoners. The 25-year-old Spanish international now looks set to stay put at Real Madrid, where he will remain an important member of the first-team squad.