Arsenal goalkeeper Martinez joins Reading on loan

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The Gunners back-up stopper is heading for the Championship as he searches for more regular first-team football

Arsenal have announced the departure of goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, who has joined Championship side Reading on loan for the remainder of the 2018-19 season.

The 26-year-old joined the Gunners from Argentine side Independiente when he was just 17, but has made only 14 first-team appearances for the club since his arrival.

Martinez has already taken in a multitude of loan moves during his time on Arsenal's books, including temporary switches to Oxford United, Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham United, Wolves and, most recently, La Liga's Getafe in 2017-18.

The shot-stopper, affectionately known as 'Emi', made only one first-team appearance for his parent club this season, taking in a full 90 minutes in his side's 1-0 home win over Qarabag in the Europa League.

In a statement released on their official website, Arsenal said that the player "goes to Reading to gain more first-team experience".

“We wish Emi well for the remainder of the season with the Royals.”

Reading currently sit in the relegation zone in England's second tier, three points adrift of safety, and will hope the acquisition of the former Argentine youth international can help plug a porous defence that has shipped 43 goals in 28 games so far this season.

It remains to be seen what Martinez's long-term future will be at Arsenal, meanwhile, with Bernd Leno established as the club's No.1.

However, Petr Cech's announcement that he's retiring from football at the end of the season may well open the door to more opportunities for the Argentine.

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In terms of incomings into the club in January, Unai Emery has already established that there won't be any permanent signings completed in the winter window.

The club are, however, hopeful of bringing in Denis Suarez on loan from Barcelona as the Gunners aim to improve their chances of finishing in the top four, with Emery's men currently fifth, three points behind Chelsea.

 

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