This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Leeds United are reportedly interested in signing Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez this summer, though their hopes may be impacted by the recent injury to Bernd Leno.
The Athletic’s Phil Hay revealed in a Q&A on Friday that Martinez is a player the Whites may look to sign if Kiko Casilla leaves the Yorkshire club this summer.
After returning on loan from Reading last summer, the 27-year-old has played second fiddle for the Gunners this term but following the nasty injury to Leno on the weekend, looks as though he may be first-choice moving forward and someone that the north London club cannot afford to let go.
But would he be a good signing for the Whites? And has Leno’s injury scuppered their chances of a move?
We asked our FLW writers for their thoughts…
Leeds are going to need to revamp their goalkeeping department, but they are surely going to give Illan Meslier every chance they can to prove himself as a player that’s ready for next season.
Meslier is a cheap deal to conclude and on what we’ve seen so far, he looks like a good young prospect who could thrive in the English game.
Martinez is a decent enough option, but knowing how Bielsa likes to operate with continuity through his squad, he won’t want to rip up the blueprint altogether, which is why it might be a back-up for Meslier that Leeds target rather than a replacement.
Even then, there is the complicated factor of Leno’s injury at Arsenal and how that might impact Martinez becoming available to sign.
On the face of things, it just doesn’t feel like the type of deal that’s going to materialise.
I think that Martinez could be a shrewd addition for Leeds.
They definitely need to strengthen their options in-between the sticks ahead of a potential return to the Premier League. Illan Meslier may be talented, but he’s still really young, and he needs an experienced figure to help him along.
Kiko Casilla’s future at Elland Road looks very uncertain, too, so he’d definitely be a much-needed signing for Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
Whether the injury to Bernd Leno impacts things remains to be seen. You would expect Martinez to play for the remainder of the season, but would also back Arteta to bring in another goalkeeper this summer as back-up to the German.
Martinez won’t want to be a back-up option for another year, and he should be desperate to move away and become number one for a club like Leeds.
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I’d be surprised if this move went through.
Martinez would have been a good addition to the Leeds team, as he has experience of playing for Arsenal in both domestic and European competitions.
He’s also had experience of regular senior football with the likes of Reading as well, and is a player that has a point to prove.
However, with Leno picking up an injury against Brighton and Hove Albion at the weekend, it seems unlikely that the Gunners will be cashing-in on him anytime soon.
He’s likely to be their first-choice shot-stopper for a few weeks at Arsenal, and if he can impress during this time, then he could be sticking around at the Emirates Stadium in the future.