Emi Martinez says he was pleased with his own performance in the 3-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League on Thursday night, but took time to hail the likes of Joe Willock, Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe.

Willock scored the opener while Saka got the second as well as two assists, and the Arsenal keeper is hugely encouraged by the young talent coming through the club right now.

Speaking after the game, he took time to praise their contributions, and suggested that if they’re developed properly, they’ve got what it takes to take the Premier League by storm.

“We know we’re the youngest team in the Premier League,” he said.

“We were very young going forward today. Auba was up front and then we had Emile and Bukayo on the wings.

“They’re so talented those two guys, and with Martinelli as well, Willock, Nelson… if we help them settle in the team, they’ll probably be the best wingers in the league.”

As for his personal display, keeping only the second clean sheet of the season, the 27 year old said his loan spell at Reading was hugely beneficial for him.

“I had a really good second half of the season with Reading and I started pre-season really well,” he said.

“I came to pre-season training early to make sure I was ready for Arsenal. I had a good pre-season, I waited for my chance and when I got it the manager chose me in this difficult game away from home.

“I just wanted to keep the clean sheet to make sure the back four is solid with me. The back four were talking all the time and saying, ‘Clean sheet, clean sheet’, even when we scored the first goal.

“We need to build on that, keep more clean sheets and we know that we can create loads of chances with Pepe, Auba, Bukayo and Martinelli.

“They’re really good going forward so we have to stick together to keep more clean sheets.”

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Reality check
Reality check

Conceding 24 shots actually had one upside to it, we now know how competent Emi is. Well played, Leno better watch out

Lettra
Lettra

Agree with every word Martinez was excellent yesterday hope he keeps it up competition is healthy.

LANCE
LANCE

The problem here is we have a weak defensive midfield. And it’s down to personel because only one is a proper defensive midfielder who knows how to tackle (Torreira) the rest of our midfielders are very poor at tackling and intercepting passes. Xhaka Willock Cabellos Ozil can’t tackle Guendouzi can but he roams a lot so he’s caught out of position often. So on most days when we play it’s almost as if we have no midfield and a lot of opposition just stroll into our defense and have a go at us which exposes our CB’s and leave us very open. So its not a pure defensive problem it’s actually a midfield problem.. If Van Dijk was on this team we’d still have the same problem.

canadrian
canadrian

I think they’re the same age too. I feel like Martinez is really ready to play now, and I wouldn’t say he has no chance of overtaking Leno at some point. Not that he will, but it’s just going to be more open than a lot of people think during the next couple of seasons.

clockenddan
clockenddan

‘Clean sheet, clean sheet’ – I love to hear this. Let’s be real, it’s not like these guys don’t know that there is a problem with the number of chances we concede, but I’m over the moon that after Watford, they worked bloody hard and as a collective unit, they achieved their goal. Plus they conceded 7 chances less so things are on the up!

Dave M
Dave M

Good to see Emi looks the part. We need Leno to feel he is being challenged for his spot. Quality performance and last season’s loan and experience has made Emi, not only look, but seems also now he feels like he belongs! More good talent coming through! Big commanding presence between the sticks!

Prakhar
Prakhar

Manager should be fostering some competition among our two goalies. By giving Martinez a few PL games as well. Leno is great, but we shouldn’t want any players getting too comfortable in knowledge that they won’t be dropped no matter what.

canadrian
canadrian

Exactly. And this was one problem I felt with Wenger. If he had a first choice in almost any position, nobody else was getting a look-in in any important matches. It was likely the reason we’ve had to let go of a lot of talent recently.

Scott P
Scott P

I agree, but probably wouldn’t drop Leno unless he makes a mistake. But if he does make one, then swap him out for the next match and send a message.

It’s a good feeling that despite Leno’s strong performances, we’re not entirely reliant on him in case injury strikes.

02ba
02ba

The keeper and forwards impressed me last night.
The future is bright…once we offload the part timer on the right and save 300k a week.

Gasmeta
Gasmeta

The futures bright
The futures red&whit
#COYG

Welsh Gooner
Welsh Gooner

Was a few instances where he spilled from shots which could have led to goals but I think that’s excusable seeing as it’s his first game of the season. Solid display from him and from our youngsters. I would use them again in the next EL game.

Ashish Mann
Ashish Mann

Wow. He’s 27 already?

Richie

Martinez, Bellerin, Saka, Willock, Nelson, Smith-Rowe, Nketiah. Arsene Wenger’s lasting legacy and final contribution to Arsenal. Thank you, Sir.

canadrian
canadrian

He mentions Martinelli twice, who didn’t play last night. Probably seeing some really excellent things in training.. hopefully we see him start the next Europa match

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

Very pleased for EMI, he deserves the plaudits and recognition he is getting. Been very patient throughout his long time with us and possibly a genuine challenger for the no.1 spot

Gooners & Roses
Gooners & Roses

Fair play to him, the ways he tried to cement his place are spot on. If he can perform consistently in cup games then he and Leno could be competitive duo for long time here.

Neil
Neil

I never realized that Martinez was so tall/Torreira so short.