Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Macey is struggling on loan with Plymouth Argyle, even having trouble in his matches for the reserves while Emi Martinez enjoying the exact opposite at Reading.
At first, Macey appeared to be making a good start to his loan spell with Plymouth. Though the team was performing terribly as a whole, he earned praise for a couple of penalty saves and played every single league match until December 26th.
Things have gone downhill since then though. Until recently, the goalkeeper hadn’t played a league game three months after he was dropped to the bench. He made a recent comeback as a substitute against Sunderland thanks to an injury, but he then conceded a goal in his 10-minute spell on the pitch.
Even with the reserves, Macey’s having trouble. Jeorge Bird reports that the 24-year-old played for Plymouth’s development squad against the MK Dons u23s last week and conceded five goals. Things improved slightly at the weekend when he was back in goal for the first team and kept a cleansheet in a 0-0 daw, but it’s not looking good for him.
It’s not clear exactly how long Macey has left on his Arsenal contract. Transfermarkt has the expiry date as 2019, but that would be strange considering the Gunners chose to loan him last summer rather than sell him.
Presumably, his deal lasts until at least 2020, but right now it doesn’t look good for him extending his stay. Hopefully, his form can pick up before summer.
In Reading, however, things couldn’t be any more different for Arsenal’s new number two, Emi Martinez.
The Argentine’s fantastic form is continuing on loan with Reading FC, so much so that the fans are already trying to convince him to stay past this summer.
Reading beat Wigan 3-2 on Saturday and Martinez was one of the heroes of the day once again, despite conceding two goals.
Wigan had the opportunity to kill the game with a goal at 2-1, at which point the Arsenal loanee made a vital save to keep his side in the game. After that, the Royals completed a crucial comeback to move three points clear of the relegation zone.
Martinez made six saves in total on the day, keeping his save percentage at an impressive 79% for his loan spell so far. He did make one error distributing the ball, but the Reading fans were more than willing to forgive one mistake for all the good he’s done for them so far. After the match, they thanked him and begged him to stay with the club.
Another world class match winning save 👏 please sign on at the end of the season fella 🙏
— Jose The Saviour…. (@CalvinRFC1871) March 10, 2019
Top class performance for a top class keeper. Kept us in the game and gave the club a great chance to of staying up. Super Emiliano Martinez!!!!
— Peter martire (@RFCmartire) March 10, 2019
— David Andrews 💙💙💙🇵🇹🇵🇹 (@DavidAn50145614) March 10, 2019
That save at 2-1 was as good as a goal. Massive save! 😍
— Elvis Royal (@royal_elvis) March 10, 2019
2-1 down your Great save , it won the game for us
— Steve Cooper (@SjcCooper) March 10, 2019
From an Arsenal point of view, this gives the club a very positive problem. With Petr Cech retiring at the end of the season, they now have to decide whether to cash in on Martinez while his stock is high or to give him a chance to take the second first-team goalkeeper spot at the Emirates.
The 26-year-old has waited a long time for his opportunity, so it would be great to see him getting a real chance with Arsenal. He’s previously had to settle for third choice and an occasional game in the League Cup, which has made it very difficult for him to prove himself.
As the club’s second-choice goalkeeper, Martinez could play all the League Cup/FA Cup and European fixtures and be on hand for the Premier League if Bernd Leno suffered an injury or a dip in form. He could even end up as first-choice if his performances were good enough. We’ll see if he keeps his good form up until the end of the season.