Martin Keown says Emi Martinez has been outstanding since Arsenal exit
Martinez was one of Argentina’s heroes throughout the tournament. But he saved some heroics for the final, saving one penalty in the shootout.
However, the game would not have gone to a shootout were it not for an unbelievable stop from the Aston Villa goalkeeper in the final moments of extra time.
Martinez has been outstanding since leaving Arsenal
It appeared that Randal Kolo Muani was about to break Argentina hearts when he was played in just as the final whistle loomed. The 24-year-old did not overthink the chance and put his laces through the ball. And the attempt looked destined for the bottom corner.
Somehow however, Martinez was able to get his left boot onto the ball and divert it away. It was a world-class piece of goalkeeping. And it set the stage for Argentina to go on and win on penalties.
It has been a remarkable rise for Martinez. Up until June 2020, he was a player most fans probably knew little about. He was splitting his time between being out on loan and being Bernd Leno’s backup at Arsenal.
But Leno’s injury against Brighton presented Martinez with his chance. And it is probably fair to say that it changed everything for the goalkeeper.
Being a backup was no longer enough for Martinez. And his move to Aston Villa shortly after saw him force his way into the Argentina fold.
Less than three years later, he has won the Copa America and the World Cup. And Keown was full of praise for everything Martinez has achieved since leaving the Gunners.
“You have to say, I do feel he’s an outstanding goalkeeper that was allowed to leave Arsenal Football Club. And he makes a save in the dying seconds with his left foot which was absolutely out of this world,” he told talkSPORT.
“Nobody in Argentina is going to be worrying about antics in front of the referee.”
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