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Despite £20m exit links, Arsenal just shouldn’t let go of their 27-year-old star who had a stellar season

Emiliano Martinez (Getty Images)

Why Arsenal must keep hold of Emiliano Martinez amidst Aston Villa links 

Arsenal backup keeper Emiliano Martinez is the subject of interest from Aston Villa, according to Telegraph. He is close to sealing a £20m move. His performances since taking over from first choice Bernd Leno’s injury have been sublime and he has created a headache for Mikel Arteta.

Martinez himself feels that he deserves to start more games and had even threatened to quit if the same did not happen this season (h/t Daily Mail).

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It’s been a long journey for the Argentine, who joined the Gunners youth team from Independiente back in 2010. He was promoted to the senior squad in 2012 but was sent on loan to Oxford United.

A string of loan moves followed to Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham United, Wolverhampton, Getafe and Reading respectively. During the same time frame, he made a paltry 6 appearances for Arsenal.

Emiliano Martinez, his Arsenal future and what his fine form means for Unai Emery - football.london
Emiliano Martinez made 23 appearances for Arsenal last season (Getty Images)

It was only during this season that he got a definite chance to play when Bernd Leno was stretchered off in the game versus Brighton on 20th June 2020. A slew of stellar performances followed, which led to him starting in the FA Cup final against Chelsea.

He was instrumental in the Gunners’ record 14th FA Cup title and was seen getting emotional after the game. He then went on to start in the Community Shield and bagged another trophy.

Why must Arsenal keep hold of Martinez

It’s been a long time since Arsenal have had two quality keepers vying for the starting spot. Bernd Leno has been in good form over the last 2 years despite the shambolic defending in front of him. He is expected to return as first choice, once fit.

Emiliano Martinez, however, hasn’t put a wrong step and can say that he should be starting for Arsenal. While it was expected that he will be leaving this time around, a new contract was signed, but the player has said he wants more games next season and will look for a move away if that does not happen (Metro.co.uk).

From Argentina to Wembley via six loan spells – how Emiliano Martínez took his chance as Arsenal No 1 | Sport | The Times
Martinez could be set for a departure from Arsenal this summer (Getty Images)

While this represents a huge problem for Mikel Arteta, it is one that he should be happy to have. Having two keepers who are in good form is the dream many top managers have. He needs to manage this situation very carefully and give both of them equal chances to impress.

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Verdict

It’s necessary that Arteta fosters an environment that keeps both keepers happy and hungry at the same time. This would definitely be no easy task but with four competitions to play in, there should be ample games for either keeper to get a good run of games under the belt and stay content.

While no player should be content with a place on the bench, the situation demands that they prove themselves every time they get a chance. This would be a healthy scenario to have for Arsenal.

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