Despite Petr Cech leaving and Arsenal being linked with a host of players, The Sunday Mirror reported this weekend that the club will not be bringing in a new shot-stopper this summer.
Petr Cech is off and David Ospina will hopefully be joining him. That leaves Emi Martinez as the club’s number two if they don’t buy anyone next season.
Given the number of keepers Arsenal have been linked with it seemed likely they would dip into the market. But finances are key and they determine that the club can’t really afford to splash on another keeper when they have so many other areas in desperate need of reinforcement and so little cash with which to reinforce.
So far this summer Arsenal have reportedly offered Valencia goalkeeper Neto a substantially improved contract, ‘surveyed’ Gianluigi Donarumma, and tried to land 20-year-old goalkeeper Markus Schubert on a free transfer. And that’s just a sample of the goalkeepers they’ve been linked with since the window opened.
But it is to Martinez they will reportedly turn to fill Cech’s gloves.
Martinez had a fantastic loan spell with Reading last season. He made more saves and more high claims per 90 minutes than any other goalkeeper in the Championship (minimum 10 appearances), maintaining an excellent save percentage of 77%.
The 26-year-old won the fans’ man of the match award in his home debut, and he drew chants of ‘Emi Martinez, we want you to stay’ almost every week towards the end of the season. Just as importantly for his morale, his efforts succeeded in keeping Reading in the Championship, dragging them out of the relegation zone.
He wasn’t always perfect, making a few mistakes leading to chances for the opposition in his 18 appearances, but overall his contributions were overwhelmingly positive.
“I’ve been around a lot, but for me, it’s now time to settle in one place,” Martinez told Goal in April. “I’m tired of going on loan. Obviously, I love Arsenal. But it’s time for me to make it there or go somewhere else.
“My dream is to play for Arsenal, I’ve always said that and I believe I have everything that a keeper needs to play for Arsenal. When I signed my last contract for six years it was because I believed I had everything to be No.1.
“If they don’t trust me, then I will have to move away and the Arsenal fans will understand. But I believe I should have the chance to show how good I am at Arsenal.”