Reading bolstered their options between the sticks last week with the addition of Emiliano Martinez on loan from Arsenal until the end of the season. So, is he any better than what we’ve already got? We asked Gunners fan Graham Brooks for his thoughts; a big thanks to him for talking to us about Martinez.
How would you sum up his time at Arsenal?
He hasn’t had a lot of game time at Arsenal and I believe Reading will be his sixth loan out. Only six Premier League appearances in six years makes it hard to make a fair assessment. I’m not sure if you remember but he made his second competitive appearance at Reading in the 7-5 Arsenal win and conceded four by half-time. Overall he has always had top goalkeepers in front of him so we just have not seen him enough.
Reading need a goalkeeper that can play out from the back - does Martinez fit that?
Yes he can play out from the back. He is technically good with short passes and can play the long ball to play over the press, averaging over eight successful long balls every game. So I believe he will be an upgrade on the keepers that you have.
What are his main strengths?
I think his strengths are dealing with crosses and his shot-stopping. He is very imposing between the sticks and commands his area well, and gets down well for a big keeper. At Arsenal in a lot of games keepers have little to do and are judged by how they deal with that. If they make that one save and are not caught cold. All I can say is he has never let us down. Confident in his handling and punches out if he has to.
And his weaknesses?
I would like to see him organise his defence better at times. I’ve seen him get done at his near post a couple of times, but haven’t seen him too much to really criticise him. Unfulfilled potential is where he probably is at.
What’s his character like?
He seems to be a popular player in the squad. However beyond that I know little about him in that capacity.
On the whole, is he a good signing for Reading?
As I said I think he will be an upgrade and a good signing. From what I know Reading like to play out and he has been schooled in that this season as Emery has the players including the goalkeepers practising that every day.