Arsenal have sent third-choice goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez on loan to Spanish club Getafe, the clearest signal yet that backup David Ospina is set to stay with the club.
Martinez was Arsenal’s EFL Cup goalkeeper last season and also played in two Premier League games, but will spend this upcoming campaign in La Liga “to gain further first team experience,” the Gunners said in a statement.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger handed Martinez a new long-term contract last season and has hailed the Argentine as the club’s future No. 1 goalkeeper.
But the decision to send him out on loan for the second time in three years — he spent the 2015-16 campaign at Wolverhampton Wanderers — indicates that Ospina will remain as Petr Cech’s backup this season.
Ospina had been linked with a move to Fenerbahce, but told Spanish website AS that he was he determined to fight for a starting place at Arsenal.
“I have a contract here, I’m happy and I’m going to fight to the end, I want to continue and win a job,” Ospina said. “That’s what I’m working for, I’ve been working for three years and now I’m waiting for the opportunity.”
Martinez himself said his main goal is still to become Arsenal’s No.1 one day.
“I’m always trying to improve myself. If you want to play for Arsenal or be at the top level for many years, that’s what you need to do,” he told the club’s website.
“It’s in my blood to train hard. When you’re not in the squad and you have to train the day after, sometimes it’s hard because you want to be involved in the team and you want to play. I always tell myself, ‘The chance will come and I won’t let it run.’
“That’s what keeps me going and motivated all the time. I came from nothing and I’m at Arsenal now, one of the biggest clubs in the world, but I’m never satisfied. I was third choice fighting for second spot, so maybe the season after I will fight for No 1.
“You always need to give more at Arsenal. It’s never enough and that’s what I try to do.”
Mattias is ESPN FC’s Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.