Martinez steps up
Before the 2019/20 campaign, the majority of English football fans probably weren’t too familiar with Emiliano Martinez
The Argentine joined Arsenal all the way back in 2010.
However, despite having spent over a decade at the club, Martinez had, until recently, never managed to secure regular first-team football for the Gunners, and was instead shipped out on a series of loans.
Over recent months, though, the 27-year-old was finally afforded the chance to showcase his talents for the north Londoners, after Bernd Leno picked up an injury vs Brighton just two games into Arsenal’s restarted campaign.
And Martinez went on to grasp his opportunity with both hands.
With Leno out of action, many likely assumed that the Gunners’ season was doomed, as the German has proven such a key figure in recent years. He even recently came second in Arsenal’s Player of the Season vote.
However, Martinez, to his credit, went on to more than fill Leno’s boots, making countless top-quality saves, and playing a pivotal role in Arsenal clinching their 14th FA Cup title (and Europa League football) earlier this month.
Martinez to leave Arsenal?
Martinez’s superb displays of late resulted in claims that Arsenal were aiming to tie the shot-stopper down to a new deal.
His current contract expires in July of 2022.
However, recent comments on the part of the Gunners’ no.2 suggest that his future may lie away from the Emirates.
Speaking on Argentine radio this weekend, Martinez claimed that he has now proven to Arsenal that he is capable of playing for the club, and, in turn, needs ‘more games’ next season.
The shot-stopper went on to add that featuring on a more consistent basis are the only grounds upon which he is willing to stay at Arsenal:
“I have shown the club that I can play for them and when I return next season I need to have more games. That is the only way I will stay at Arsenal.
“My target is to consolidate my place with Arsenal and to reach the Argentinian national team as number one.
“I won’t stop until I get that and if I don’t play for Arsenal, then clearly I would move on.”
Quotes via the Evening Standard.
But with Bernd Leno set to be back fit for next season, will Mikel Arteta really be willing to bench the German who, as already mentioned, has proven so pivotal for the Gunners in recent seasons?
If not, Arsenal could do what we previously suggested, and cash in on Martinez this summer, to help fund Mikel Arteta’s rebuild.
This article was edited by Conor Laird.
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