Emi Martinez made an eye-catching save for Reading on his home debut, as the Arsenal loanee kept a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw with Aston Villa.
Martinez has gone straight into the action with Reading, starting both of their Championship matches after joining on loan last week. On Saturday, he made his home debut in front of his new fans, and he impressed with a clean sheet, winning the fans’ man of the match award.
Reading supporters are certainly excited to have the Arsenal shot-stopper in goal for them. One posted a clip of one of Martinez’s better saves in the match, a great reaction stop from close range:
— Eddie Wallbank (@EddieRFC7) February 3, 2019
Meanwhile, many others had positive things to say to the goalkeeper on Twitter after his first two games.
The Reading fans all seem really happy with Emi’s performance today, hard to find anyone saying anything negative! pic.twitter.com/L4rdVAMrSJ
— Dan Critchlow (@afcDW) February 2, 2019
This is exactly the kind of loan Martinez needs to have if he wants to have a chance at Arsenal next season.
With Petr Cech retiring, a spot is opening up behind Bernd Leno as The Gunners’ cup goalkeeper/backup goalkeeper. If the 26-year-old Argentine performs well enough for the next few months, he can take that spot and challenge for starting opportunities in the Premier League as well.
It would be the first time in a while that such a spot has opened up, with Arsenal generally signing a new first-choice goalkeeper and relegating the old first-choice to backup in recent years. They signed Ospina to play ahead of Szczesny, then Cech ahead of Ospina, then Leno ahead of Cech, making it impossible for Emi to break in.
Now is his chance, so let’s hope he takes it.