One of the big team selection issues for Mikel Arteta for the start of the new season is who gets the nod in goal.
Bernd Leno was the clear first choice last season but, having deputised brilliantly for him after the injury sustained at Brighton, Emi Martinez would feel hard done by to lose his place.
Some have speculated that Leno’s selection would precipitate his colleague’s departure as he looks for regular first team football, on the back of strong links with Aston Villa over the last week or so.
However, the Arsenal boss denied that tomorrow’s selection is an indication that the starter is the undisputed number 1 at the club.
“No,” he said when asked if that were the case. “I don’t treat the goalkeeping position any differently to the others.
“I think the one that in my opinion is training better with the goalkeeping coach has the better chance to start tomorrow and my decision will be consistent like that throughout this season.
“Then it’s for the other one to push and make him better and when his chance comes, be ready and help the team as they both did last season. Both were fantastic in my opinion.”
Pressed on the potential departure of Martinez, Arteta played his cards close to his chest, saying, “I cannot stop all the speculation that we have about all our players coming in and out.
“I don’t want to comment on any individuals at the moment without having the right answers to give.”
The Gunners will be without David Luiz and Sokratis for tomorrow, meaning one of the young central defenders is likely to start, but who keeps goal behind him is a question we won’t have answered until an hour before kick off tomorrow.
Arteta also answered questions about Alexandre Lacazette who has been mentioned as a possible departure during the window.
He seemed to hint that the striker’s future lay in North London rather than elsewhere.
“He is really happy here, he wants to keep improving and contributing to the team,” he said.
“I know how good he is, the impact he is having. He knows about the competition he has with the front players, and again he needs to demand of himself to be the best striker at this football club, the same as the rest.
“He was very happy to hear that and the way he has been training and conducting himself has been excellent.”