Emi Martinez seems to have been at Arsenal forever now, in fact it’s been six years since the player signed for the club! But despite having been in North London since 2010, the goalkeeper has found opportunities very limited in the first team.
Martinez made his first competitive start of the season on Tuesday night against Nottingham Forest in the English Football League Cup. Martinez kept a clean sheet in a 4-0 win in Nottingham, and although he didn’t have too much to do over the course of the game, he proved to be impressive when called upon. He made some good saves and was seen to be calm and collective in his position and confident when faced up against the ball.
Martinez’s chances have come sparingly at Arsenal and in fact that was Martinez’s first appearance in an Arsenal shirt since featuring on the bench in the 2015 Community Shield match against Chelsea. Martinez’s last match with the Gunners was against Southampton in a 1-0 Premier League win back in 2014, after a the Argentine had few impressive performances, including keeping clean sheets against Premier League opposition West Brom and German side Borrusia Dortmund in the Champions League.
Despite having an impressive clean sheet to matches played ratio, Martinez is likely to always been remembered for that 7-5 cup match against Reading, in which poor goalkeeping errors saw the Gunners 4-0 down at one point. It was a great comeback for Arsenal, but Martinez was still very much in the media’s spotlight for his performance. Since then he has spent time out on loan at Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers, where he has proven to be first choice in each spell.
In my opinion, Martinez has shown great confidence whilst in an Arsenal shirt and I think he’s been unlucky not to appear more often for the Gunners. It’s a shame from his perspective that he has such strong competition from Petr Cech, otherwise had we still had Szczesny and Ospina as our two main keepers, I think Martinez may have been given the chance to step up.
At 24 years old, Martinez of course has plenty of years on his side, especially as a goalkeeper, but I do feel that perhaps his time at Arsenal may come to an end soon if he doesn’t get his chance. Martinez cannot be content with playing just a few matches a year and as he is no longer a youth talent, he will surely want to be playing more regular football.
Will Martinez get a chance at Arsenal in the future, or will we be saying goodbye to the Argentine?