Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has admitted he may have to leave the club permanently this summer when his current loan spell away from the Emirates ends.
Martinez is currently on loan at Championship side Reading, the sixth club he has signed for temporarily since joining Arsenal as a teenager nine years ago.
Will Arsenal offer Martinez a new contract? Five key things to know…
- Martinez is out of contract with Arsenal at the end of the season.
- He joined the Gunners from Argentinian club Independiente as a 16-year-old in 2010.
- When he was 18, the goalkeeper joined Oxford United on loan but made just one appearance for the League Two club.
- He has since spent time in the Championship and La Liga with Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham, Wolves, Reading and Getafe.
- First-choice goalkeeper Bernd Leno has settled in England so Martinez’s first-team chances next term are slim, meaning he’s unlikely to sign a new deal.
Leno’s stint at Reading has been successful since his arrival in January, but the Argentinian is growing tired of leaving Arsenal on loan.
“I’ve been around a lot, but for me it’s now time to settle in one place. I’m at an age now where I have a newborn baby and me and my wife want to settle. I’m tired of going on loan,” Martinez told Goal.
“Obviously I love Arsenal. But it’s time for me to make it there or go somewhere else.
“I promised my dad I was going to make it and I will make it.
“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. Why would I sign for six years if I wasn’t going to have any games?
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“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.
“I want to stay in England. My wife and my kid were born here and I want to stay at Arsenal – that’s the truth, so I hope they give me the chance.”
How has Martinez performed for Reading?
Reading have moved out of the relegation zone since Martinez arrived; they are currently 19th in the table, four points clear of 22nd-placed Rotherham.
Martinez has played his part in the team’s turnaround, keeping three clean sheets and conceding 14 goals in 11 league appearances.
Whether his performances have been good enough to tempt Arsenal into extending his current contract remains to be seen.
The 26-year-old has made just six senior appearances for the Londoners over the years and faces the task of somehow dislodging Bernd Leno next term if he does stick around.