Damian Martinez’s two competitive appearances for the Arsenal first-team to date could hardly have been more contrasting in nature.
The Argentinian goalkeeper demonstrated a calm demeanour and was extremely confident in claiming crosses as a young Arsenal side comfortably dispatched of Coventry City in the 3rd round of the Capital One Cup in 2012. However, in the next round of the competition some doubts began to arise about Martinez’s credentials as he made several errors in the tumultuous 7-5 win away to Reading.
Two years later Martinez appears to have fully recovered from that performance. The 21 year old has been in impressive form for the first-team during pre-season, and, despite the arrival of David Ospina from Nice, he looks set to finally be promoted to the senior squad as third-choice goalkeeper.
Tall and possessing a superb goal-kick, Martinez spent most of last season on loan at Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship, where he vied with Chris Kirkland for a place in goal. He didn’t feature as often as he would have liked, but still racked up 11 league appearances and appears to have improved considerably from the experience.
His long-term chances of making the grade at Arsenal are still questionable, but Martinez is doing everything he possibly can to give himself a good chance of success. Having been born in 1992, he will be classed as a senior players in the club’s Premier League and Champions League squads, although he may have to be content with a few Capital One Cup appearances with two comparatively experienced goalkeepers ahead of him.
However, with Ospina currently injured, Martinez is in line to be named on the bench for the Community Shield fixture against Manchester City on Sunday and could go into the season as the club’s temporary back-up to Szczesny.
He will undoubtedly have to be patient for his opportunity, but Martinez has certainly enhanced his reputation this Summer.