Monday, December 5, 2022

Leeds United Face A Massive Blow In The Pursuit Of This Arsenal Star: An Upgrade Over Meslier?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

As reported by Express, Leeds United’s plans to sign Emiliano Martinez could be scuppered. The Arsenal star was among the goalkeepers shortlisted by the club as potential replacements for Kiko Casilla. However, the recent injury to Bernd Leno should reinstate Martinez as a first-choice Arsenal ‘keeper. As a result, Leeds United‘s hopes of signing Martinez has taken a massive toll.

Why do Leeds United need a new goalkeeper?

Leeds United could require significant defensive reinforcements heading into this summer transfer window. Especially in the goalkeeping department, first-choice ‘keeper Casilla is facing an uncertain future at the club. He is, in fact, currently on an eight-game suspension due to racism.

His absence has allowed Illan Meslier to earn a prominent role in the first-team. The Frenchman even performed well in his first three matches prior to the footballing break. However, his recent performance against Cardiff City as Leeds United had lost 2-0, raises question marks over his consistency as well as the fact that whether or not he is an ideal option for the Premier League.

Meanwhile, it won’t be surprising to see Casilla leaving Elland Road in the summer. The Spaniard has clearly struggled to establish himself as a reliable choice in between the sticks, thus accentuating the club’s need for a new goalkeeper this summer.

Leeds United's plans to sign Emiliano Martinez could be scuppered - Is Meslier a viable option?
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 06: Illan Meslier of Leeds United applauds the travelling fans following his side’s defeat during the FA Cup Third Round match between Arsenal FC and Leeds United at the Emirates Stadium on January 06, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Is Martinez a more reliable option than Meslier?

What made Martinez such an appealing target for Leeds United is his experience at the highest level of football. Although the Argentine is, by no means, a first-team regular for the Gunners, he is quite familiar with the nature of top-flight football, having played at Emirates for ten years.

Another key factor regarding Martinez is that despite the lack of game-time at Arsenal, he has always managed to live up to the expectations and is yet to disappoint. It was evident in his performance against Brighton & Hove Albion as he notably made an excellent save to deny Aaron Mooy seconds after coming on.

Such consistency is vital for a goalkeeper. And in that sense, it certainly makes Martinez a more secure and reasonable option when compared to Meslier. But, at the same time, Leeds United need to be patient if they are to get their hands on the goalkeeper this summer.

With Leno presumably out for the remainder of the campaign, Martinez is more than expected to start each of every one of Arsenal’s game. But, with the German set to return to full fitness by the start of next season, there could be a window of opportunity for the Whites to secure the services of Martinez this summer.

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