Arsenal goalkeeper Emi Martinez has received his first call-up for Argentina in over eight years, and he could be set to make his first appearance over the international break.
Argentina announced their squad for the October international break on Friday, and Martinez was rewarded for his strong recent form with his first inclusion since 2011.
The goalkeeper was last called up as an 18-year-old, after initially joining the u21s. Whilst with the youth side, there was an injury to senior keeper Oscar Ustari, meaning Martinez was promoted to the senior squad. He made the bench for a match against Poland.
Though that must have been a fantastic experience for a teenager, Martinez didn’t get onto the pitch that day, and he didn’t get another chance for the next eight years.
In 2019, the 27-year-old has finally started to come into his own.
On loan with Reading, Martinez really impressed in helping the Championship side avoid what looked like an inevitable relegation. He then returned to Arsenal, played well in pre-season, before keeping clean sheets in his first two competitive games of 2019/20.
It’s been heartwarming to see a player finally getting an opportunity nine years after he first joined, and it clearly hasn’t gone unnoticed by the people in charge of the Argentinian national side. Let’s hope Emi gets his first international cap next month!