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Emiliano Martínez: it never is too late

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Goalkeepers have the particularity of being able to extend their careers a few years longer than most players in the rest of the positions due to the fact that their physical demand is slightly lower since they do not need to do long runs, sprints, coverage, etc. In this sense, goalkeepers also tend to make their professional debut at a slightly older age than the rest.

Emiliano Martínez is one of those cases where the opportunity to reach a higher level has come at a slightly higher age (he is currently 28 years old) than with other goalkeepers, being today one of the best in the English Premier League.

Originally from Mar del Plata, Argentina, Martínez was part of the youth teams of CA Independiente, however he never had the opportunity to debut in the first team because thanks to his good performances with the Argentina national under-17 team in 2009 South American Championship of that category, Arsenal FC would sign him.

His time with Arsenal was mostly marked by being the second, third and even fourth option of the starting goalkeeper, which led him to many loan deals in League Two, in the Championship and one in La Liga with Getafe CF. In these loans, Martínez alternated periods with a lot of playing time and others where he struggled to get games.

Bernd Leno’s injury in the 2019-20 season was the turning point in the career of Emiliano Martínez who had the opportunity to prove himself with the Gunners, especially in the FA Cup final and in the 2020 FA Community Shield, where he had outstanding performances. For the beginning of this season, with the German goalkeeper already recovered, manager Mikel Arteta informed the Argentine that he would once again have a substitute role since the usual goalkeeper in the starting eleven would continue to be Leno.

As a result of this situation, Martínez decided to leave Arsenal FC as they accepted a very good offer from Aston Villa FC of almost €22 million, making him the most expensive Argentine goalkeeper in football history. So far in his tenure with the Birmingham club, Martínez has 11 clean sheets in 21 games played in this edition of the English Premier League, only surpassed by Ederson from Manchester City FC who, it is worth mentioning, is the league leader and has the best defense in the championship.

The Argentine goalkeeper has taken over that position and is being one of the most outstanding players of the competitive English championship and, at 28 years old, he seems to have achieved a state of form and playing time that will allow him to show his best qualities. It is possible that the Argentina national team will start to call him regularly and this will give him greater international recognition that will lead him to return to an important team in Europe.

It is never too late to turn a career around in football and the Aston Villa goalkeeper is a prime example of that.

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