Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has sensationally revealed that he seriously considered leaving the Emirates Stadium, following the arrival of Colombian custodian David Ospina during the summer.
With Wojciech Szczesny already established as Arsene Wenger's number one, the Argentinian stopper thought his chances of regular first-team action would be even further restricted by the acquisition of the World Cup ace.
As it turns out, Szczesny suffered an injury during the Gunners' recent Champions League clash against Galatasaray, and with Ospina struggling for fitness himself since moving to north London it's presented Martinez with an opportunity to stake his claim for a place.
The 22-year-old has certainly grabbed his chance with both hands, keeping three successive clean sheets against Borussia Dortmund, West Bom and Southampton, and has now provided Wenger with a selection headache as his previously favoured Pole closes in on a return to action.
Asked about the uncertainty that surrounded his future back in August, Martinez made no secret of his frustration, but indicated that he would've probably remained at Arsenal for one more season at least.
"I spoke to my agent and my family about it and they said: ‘let’s wait one year to see if you get the opportunity, don’t rush it’," he told the London Evening Standard. "Arsenal is one of the biggest clubs in the world so I am in no rush to leave.
"I know I’m young and I need to wait for my opportunity. When that comes, you need to be confident and show the manager that you can play. I think I’m doing that."
It remains to be seen whether Martinez will keep his place for Saturday's trip to the Britannia Stadium, but either way the South American can be pleased with his contribution after making a seamless transition into the senior team when called upon by Wenger last month.
"Arsenal is one of the biggest clubs in the world so I am in no rush to leave." - Damian Martinez
"I need to thank the defenders as well," he added, not wanting to take all the credit for his recent shutouts. "They have been outstanding in the last three games.
"Whoever plays in the back four, you feel confident against any team. Hopefully if I get a chance against Stoke, I will keep another clean sheet and we can win the game."
Arsenal fans have certainly been impressed with the talented young goalkeeper's consistent level of early performances, and they'll be hoping that his recent taste of first-team action will now help convince him to stay at the Emirates for the foreseeable future.
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