Opinion: It is unfair to Emiliano Martinez but Bernd Leno has to be the number one

Recent reports claim that Arsenal are willing to sell Emiliano Martinez this summer as they consider Bernd Leno as their first choice.

After ten years at Arsenal, Martinez finally got his big break in the first team this summer.

The Argentinean needed to be called upon when Leno got injured in June during the early days of the Premier League’s restart.

Martinez’s form was so good that fans became divided over who is the better of the two.

Some fans are of the opinion that the Argentinean is better and is underrated because he wasn’t signed for too much money, while others think Leno is ahead of him in terms of quality.

I think that both of them are equally good options to have and it’s unfortunate that one of them has to be the second choice at the Emirates.

Having watched Martinez for some time now, I will admit that he is a quality keeper and that I was very surprised by the way he performed.

However, Leno is a level above, in my opinion, the saves he makes sometimes are incredible and he was in a superb form until he was injured.

I can understand why one of them must go and it has to be Martinez.

An article by Ime

Tags Bernd Leno Emiliano Martinez


  1. Leno was brilliant before his injury. Martinez came in and surprised everyone with such remarkable performance. Very difficult to chose between the two, but I’m leaning towards Martinez.

    Thank goodness I don’t have the misfortune of making that choice. Must be a tough one for MA

    1. You have summed up the predicament facing Arteta
      Whatever the outcome a half decent back up is required as was shown by an inspired Martinez

    2. If they are equally good,cant they be given an equal run of games.Is Matt Macey anywhere as good a number 2 keeper as Emi?I feel we will need Martinez at some point when the games are too many,suspensions and a long layoff is usually followed by another minor injury because of the body conditioning process.You can for example say Keeper A will play first 10 games excluding cup competitions.Then Keep B plays cup games that come inbetween the first 10 games.Then Keeper B takes next 10 games excluding cup games…its possible to satisfy both

    3. Leno is like Dracula he does not like crosses Martinez is better don’t get me wrong Leno is good but not better

  2. I think most fans are being reactionary because Martinez’s performances were recent.
    I’m willing to bet the drama won’t be much and nobody would bat an eyelid if Leno never got injured and we sold Martinez for £2 million.
    Nobody would be making a fuss, it’s easy to accept to stick to Martinez, bit he has only done it for like 3 months.
    Leno on the hand has shown consistency is his middle name and he’s been doing it for years.
    Aside for 2 errors he made, you can’t fault him for anything else.
    Even Ederson made more errors.
    It has to be Leno.
    I also accept it’s unfair to Martinez, and he needs to play. So I’ll be really happy for him if he gets a club of his choice. He’s first team material.
    Just don’t sell him for anything below 20 million.

    Also, he’s angry at Arteta for sticking with Leno, and once again I understand his reactions.

    1. Also before you start saying stuff you don’t know. Arteta wants to keep him, Arteta wants him to stay and wants it to be a battle between him and Leno, but he’s not interested. He wants to be guaranteed starter. (He’s hungry to become Argentina’s number one).
      Plus he has just 2 years left on his contract, refusing to renew it if he’s not given the number one spot.
      We can’t keep a player that will be happy to leave and let him enter his last year.
      People blame the club for making terrible financial decisions, but the best time to sell Martinez is now.
      Form and contract.
      If we refuse to sell and he gets a year left, we’ll get nothing but peanuts for him of he refuses to renew his contract

      1. Its worth mentioning that he has been on 20,000 a week for 4 years now. Obviously if he leaves right now he will get a whole lot more!

        1. Or Admin Pat, he could be offered a wage increase commensurate to his ability and loyalty to attract him to stay. A replacement goal keeper, unless Arsenal promotes Matt Macey, will cost more.
          One can understand Martinez being a bit peeved, as he has waited his chance, taken loan deals, been loyal and then taken his opportunity when it came.
          My view is it is up to Leno to win his spot back, otherwise it appears that Leno is rusted on #1 and there is no room for healthy competition. In this case Martinez should consider his options to fulfil his ambitions, particularly in regard to becoming Argentine goal keeper.

    2. Agree with the points you make Eddie but Martinez showed that given that chance he could really take it. Credit to him and whatever decision is made I agree like you, he deserves to be a number 1

  3. Martinez is more commanding in his area and also a great shot stopper. He is far better than Leno with his kicking and playing out from the back. Having said that, I think they will play a half each today.

    1. Martinez gave me more confidence, it seems he dealt well the calamitous defence, the fact that he came in and played well, might imply if he plays more often he can be a world star

    2. Martinez since the restart has been the best GK in the EPL.
      Leno was never ever the best over a period of 10 games or more.
      Martinez makes the same kinds of saves, they just look less spectacular due to his size. He’s much better in the air, a more commanding presence, better at starting attacks.
      That’s why every expert is saying Martinez is the no.1 for now.

  4. Such a tricky decision. Arguably our overall keeping situation will be made worse by Martinez stepping in as it now mean we’ll likely sell one of them!

    For me it comes down to two things – aerial ability and ability with the ball at their feet. I think Martinez excels at those two things without at all lacking with his shot stopping, whereas Leno excels with shot stopping while lacking a bit with aerial ability.

    I’d keep Martinez.

  5. It happens when you have two good keepers that are both young in goal keepers terms !! Both want to be number 1 and have regular game time but in reality it doesnt work like that !! That is why you usually see clubs have a vet keeper in his Twilight years as back up!! This way you can keep both happy !! Martinez deserves first team number status without doubt !! But is Leno better !! That is open for debate. Shot stopper Leno is better passing out from the back Leno again is better but from crosses Martinez is better and i mean far better !! Leno has been found out time and time again from crosses but what je lacks on these he makes up with his shot stopping and passing out from the back !! Lenos distribution over all is far better than that of Martinez !! its a tuff decision do you go for a keeper that is good from crosses but lacks in other areas or go for a keeper that is good from crosses but lacks in other areas !! glad its not me making that decision … Id go for the keeper that is good from crosses but hey that is me and by no means i am saying leno isnt better !! its just what i would prefer !! but Leno is still young and can learn to be better at crosses !! Its a bit like the laca decision do you have a player up front that cannot hit a barn door at two yards but brings alot more to the team in energy !!

      1. Arsenal football club should actually take this serious. from a person whose moniker is LenoHappy. you can bank on the fact that there’s no bias there. Martinez over Leno any day till Martinez proves otherwise, he should definitely be number one and those saying he’s only been outstanding for 3 months. if he can do that for 3 seasons, imagine what he’ll do if given the chance to play the whole season.

    1. carl, You are in a massive minority, as you think, rather alone I’d say, that LENO IS A BETTER DISTRIBUTOR WITH HIS FEET THAN MARTINEZ. That is so very clearly untrue! I have to ask how often you have watched both keepers to have such a left field opinion!

      I will be clear that about which is better right now I am intwo minds. Id love to keep both and right now, were both fit I’d play Martinex. But he is not fit, which may well effect long term plannig for MA.

  6. 100% disagree.

    Up to Leno to knock Martinez from top spot. All you are suggesting is we should be content for one keeper and a trusty understudy. For Arsenal to move forward they need competition all over the pitch – without a superb no.2 last season, Arsenal would have dropped like a stone after Leno’s injury.

    Martinez no.1, Leno should push him off his perch or wait for his chance to shine.

  7. Martinez is better with the aerial stuff and his distribution is better. He is maybe slightly less good a shot-stopper. He deserves to be top dog somewhere and if that isn’t going to be Arsenal then he should be allowed to move on.

  8. I’ve said this and I will say it again, u won’t know the value of what I have until u loose it, this guy is and better than Leno but lack opportunity, on Twitter when ospina injured he showed quality he possess but not enough for us bcoz we did not signed him as a big asset, does that mean he is not?

  9. Comments are closed for some reason on the article regarding Arsenal winning the First Division Title at White Hart Lane by beating Spurs 1-0 in 1971. I don’t know if it is still in print, but I highly recommend the book Arsenal produced to commemorate the 1970/71 triple achievement. I bought mine from the Highbury store in 1977.
    Also the thing that stands out to me in the videos of each game, is the change in the turf conditions between 1971 and 2004. The 2004 White Hart Lane was a veritable carpet compared to 1971. Wouldn’t Arsenal like some of those players reincarnated (even though most are still living).

  10. Martinez only had a problem with his footwork which is now greatly worked on.
    Verdict: Martinez is better than Leno.
    Nonetheless, I don’t want any gone.

  11. Martinez can command his area better than Leno and actually catches crosses. Otherwise there is little to choose between the two of them.If two into one really doesn’t work then given Arsenal’s current finances I would just sell which ever one commands the largest transfer fee.

  12. “However, Leno is a level above, in my opinion, the saves he makes sometimes are incredible and he was in a superb form until he was injured”. Please tell me one thing that Leno can do better than Martinez, that last minute save that Martinez made against Liverpool, even Jose said that can only be made by world class goalkeeper. If am to choose between the 2, I will definitely go for Martinez. Leno takes too many risks, hes playing out from the back is overated by arsenal fans, he’s poor with crosses, and in this league you need your keeper to be good with crosses, anyone can save shots, ben foster is a good shotstopper, fabianski is a very good shotstopper, you need to have that physical presence when your team is under pressure with the aerial balls, when the likes of crystal palace, soton, Newcastle are putting you under pressure with those long balls, but sadly Leno doesn’t have that.

  13. I say keep Martinez and sell Leno. I’m sure Lenos’ value would help towards financing a decent midfielder? Martinezs’ value is lower in terms of money. In terms of a decent keeper though, it makes sense to make him number 1!

  14. Martinez for me. Better in the air, commanding presence at the back and good at passing from the back, fits MA’s style of play. He has saved Arsenal from downfall when Lenno was injured, did a wonderful job when called upon and we shouldn’t let this man down.

  15. This Martinez guy has not been properly tested in my honest opinion, most of the games he played were with less pressure, behind closed doors, it’s easier to concentrate in those circumstances besides, he gave the ball away in those big matches just That he was not punished. Leno has been doing it even when our defense was crap, he is the best player in the team only second to auba so I don’t know what you guys are taking about. He’s shown he is good but saying he’s better than Leno for playing less than 20 games is ridiculous.

  16. Both leno and martinez are very good gk so it is normal for martinez to want to push for a no1 role since he is 27. I see many comparing leno and martinez passing from the back and dealing with the ball under pressure without realising that leno played behind a calamitous defence without any gameplan while martinez played under arteta only with a better defence and team coordination. That makes it an unfair comparison.

  17. I think Mikel Arteta himself did say that it isn’t what a Gunner has done for the team in the past, good or bad that really matters to him as the Gunners head coach. But what the Gunner currently brings on the table to Arsenal in terms of his current top performances in matches for the club that counts. So, if Arteta will not contradict himself to unecessarily drop Martinez for Leno to takeover starting regularly in games for Arsenal, but Martinez who performed very well for the team when Leno was injured is reverted to his second fodder status when the Premier League season campaign begun next weekend will be unfair to Martinez. Because Arteta will be showing favoritism if he drops Martinez for Leno to resume regular starting for Arsenal just because he was the Gunners regular starting goalie before he became injury layoff. NO! I think if I were Arteta, I will start Martinez for Arsenal in their Community Charity Shield match against Liverpool today at Wembley. And away to Fulham in the PL next weekend at Graven Cottage to see how Martinez will perform in goal for Arsenal in these two important matches. And if he brings 2 wins out of 2 consecutive matches to the table for Arsenal, from then on, I will suggest Arteta should keep on stating him regularly and makes Leno to wait for his chance just like Martinez waited for his chance and grabbed it when it came to him. Finally, it should be remembered by Arteta that when Leno was sidelined with injury, he brought on Martinez to step in and he stepped in and brought good luck to Arsenal as the club beat Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea consecutively in 3 matches in two FA Cup big games and one big game in the PL that saw Arsenal beat a Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool team in the Pl for the first time ever. And kept in the goal for Arsenal when they won the FA Cup to qualify for European football next season. But having say all that I have said above in defence of Martinez, but However, It will be nice if Martinez stops his over agitation to remain the Arsenal regular starting goalkeeper or else he will leave the club to pasture new elsewhere. But if he leaves Arsenal now after seeing how Fabianzky left the club to Swansea City and now West Ham, but Martinez dosn’t know what could happen to him if he takes the gamble to leav Arsenal this summer in what will look he left the club in acrimonious manner . So therefore, let Martinez still be patient to remain at Arsenal. For, even if Arteta refused to regularly start him, his time to regularly be starting for Arsenal again will certainly come back to him. But in the main time, Martinez should ask the club to extend his contract with improved wages that isn’t outrageous in demand. But if the club refused to grant him his request, then us Gooners will know that Arsenal don’t want him at the club anymore.

  18. As both are good keepers and as we need money, let’s sell the one who can give us more money (transfer fee received plus salary saved).

    In this way, we can reinforce other positions while maintaining the quality in goal keeping.

  19. Martinez over Leno for me. Leno’s valuation is higher, and 30-35 million is better than 15-20 million if we have to contemplate selling. Both keepers were our best players after Auba, and if one has to go absolutely, it would be better to get more financial gain from the sale.

  20. Leno may be the better shot stopper, but Martinez is a better overall keeper. For me it is Martinez.

  21. I would favour Martinez, he is in possession of the shirt and it’s up to Leno to compete for it.

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