The Argentinian goalkeeper has had years of loan spells and warming the bench but can stake a claim to be Arsenal’s No 1 after Bernd Leno’s injury

Emiliano Martínez might reflect that, had it not been for a tumultuous afternoon in Stoke, the past five seasons could have turned out very differently. The Arsenal goalkeeper was 22 when, in November 2014, injuries to Wojciech Szczesny and David Ospina afforded him his first crack at the top level. He was outstanding in a win over Borussia Dortmund before keeping clean sheets against West Brom and Southampton. Arsène Wenger was sufficiently impressed to decide that, if another three points followed at the then Britannia Stadium, the imposing youngster would keep his place despite Szczesny’s return. But Arsenal crumbled in familiar fashion and, while little blame could be attached to Martínez in their 3-2 defeat, Wenger reverted to what he knew.

Until last Saturday, when Bernd Leno’s injury necessitated a 50-minute outing as a substitute, Martínez had made only made two further appearances in the Premier League. Now he has a chance to amass at least another eight, with Leno almost certainly sidelined for the rest of the campaign, and those who have worked with him during his decade in north London are adamant that he is no stopgap; Martínez, they say, has what it takes to become Arsenal’s long-term No 1.

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