Celtic Close In On 25 Y/O Arsenal Custodian: Where Can He Fit Into Rodgers’ Plans?

Celtic have reportedly agreed to personal terms with Arsenal over their on-loan goalkeeper, Emiliano Martinez. The 25-year-old has spent the first half of the season away on loan to La Liga side, Getafe and has only racked up four total appearances. Getafe manager, José Bordalás has chosen Vicente Guaita to be the number one option in between the sticks and this is far from ideal for both Martinez and Arsenal.

Crystal Palace had lined up a bid for Guaita to answer their own problems at the back but none of the rumours has yet materialized. His departure would have allowed Martinez to slide into the starting XI but now that Guaita’s deal has not yet been confirmed, the Argentine will have to find an escape in the Scottish Premiership. However, Getafe will have to sign off on his release and this might complicate the entire deal with less than 24 hours left in the transfer window.

Celtic suffered a huge blow to their campaign after Craig Gordon went down with a knee injury in the 1-0 win over Hibernian last Saturday. The 35-year-old has been ruled out for 12 weeks and Brendan Rodgers is left with Dorus De Vries as a second option other than an inexperienced Ross Doohan. When asked about Gordan’s injury the former Liverpool boss was quoted, “Sad news for him and for us. But of course, we will need to have that cover for someone to come in and support Dorus de Vries, so that is something that we are looking at.”

“It depends on availability, it could be the purchase of a goalkeeper (or a loan) we would have to wait and see.”

The entire irony rises from Rodgers’ decision to send Conor Hazard out on loan to Scottish Championship side, Falkirk less than a week ago. The manager sanctioned the move in hopes of allowing the youngster to receive crucial first team experience, but what could have been if the deal fell through.

Martinez has a slim chance of breaking into the Arsenal starting lineup ahead of the likes of Petr Cech. David Ospina is already a quality option as a Cup goalkeeper and the dual pairing has worked marvellously under Arsene Wenger. This makes the Argentine’s future at the Emirates precarious but continuing his development with another side does not.

He has shuffled around in the lower divisions of English football over the past five years away on loan spells to Oxford United, Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham United and Wolves. He is well accustomed to the pace of the English game and that will be a major factor in his success with the Hoops.

The Glasgow based club are well poised to win their seventh consecutive league title and have already bolstered the attacking lineup by securing a loan deal for Charly Musonda from Chelsea. Martinez’s prospects at Celtic Park looks promising now that the gruelling final stretch of the 2017/18 season is already upon us.


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