Leno’s injury has ‘changed my career’ says Emiliano Martinez who wants to be No1 for Arsenal after decade of ‘suffering’

EMILIANO MARTINEZ has urged Arsenal to reward him for a decade of "suffering" by making him their first-choice keeper.

The Argentine has been shipped out on loan six times since joining the Gunners in 2010.

However he got his chance with Mikel Arteta's side following an injury to No1 Bernd Leno, and went on to star in the North Londoners' FA Cup triumph earlier this month.

Martinez has now hinted he could emulate legendary keeper Iker Casillas, who himself got his chance at Real Madrid due to a teammate's injury.

The 27-year-old told AS: "This has been the best year of my career, but it is not easy to fulfil your dreams.

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"I arrived at Arsenal in 2010, and had five spells out on loan – plus another one with Oxford where I played just once.

"It honestly wasn't easy for me. I found it hard, and suffered more than I should.

"The last loan spell, at Reading, was the one I enjoyed most. The manager, Jose Gomes, put a lot of faith in me and helped me develop.

"But now I can say that all the effort has been worthwhile."

Martinez was praised for his performacne int he 2-1 FA Cup final win against Chelsea, and also what he said afterwards.

He earned even more adoration from supporters after declaring: "I don't care about the money."

The Argentine stopper broke down in tears after the Gunners lifted the trophy for a record 14th time.

After embracing an Arsenal staff member behind the scenes at Wembley, 27-year-old Martinez was picked up on camera declaring he doesn't care about the financial incentive of lifting the trophy.


Contuing with the AS interview, he added: "The fact I have returned to Arsenal so many times is because they continued to believe I could become their No.1 goalkeeper.

"Had they told me: 'Look, you've no future here,' I'd have gone to another club.

"But now I have achieved what I wanted – and I want to continue being successful with Arsenal.

"Bernd Leno's injury has changed my career. Other great goalkeepers – such as Iker Casillas – have got their big opportunities when the first-choice keeper was injured.

"You have to be prepared for when you are called on.

"I hope to continue with Arsenal in the new season. That is my idea – although obviously I want to be in the first team.

"My dream is to play as many Premier League games as possible – and also to play for Argentina."

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