Wright fears Chelsea swoop for emerging Arsenal star

Joe Williams
Emiliano Martinez Arsenal Aston Villa

Ian Wright is worried that Chelsea could look to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga with Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez this summer.

The Argentine has been deputising for Bernd Leno, who suffered a knee injury against Brighton, but Martinez’s impressive performances could see him keep his place in the side permanently.

Martinez had struggled to get any serious game time before this season and was sent on a series of loan spells, playing 18 times for Championship side Reading last campaign.

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Now at the age of 27, Martinez could finally be ready to step up as Arsenal number one – but Wright fears Chelsea – who are reportedly looking to replace Kepa – could swoop for the Gunners keeper.

“When you go to a No.2, the first thing you do is worry because you think: ‘Has he had enough games? Will he be able to deal with the pressure?’,” Wright said on the Kelly & Wrighty Show.

“Obviously there’s no fans there, but everybody spoke about Emi and how good he is, but I didn’t realise how good he was because I didn’t see enough of him.

“I saw him in some cup games but he’s commanding, he makes great saves, he’s good on the ground, he’s got everything for a No.2.

“The thing that frightens me now with him is that when Bernd Leno does come back and he is fit, why would he want to continue as a No.2 when he’s played to this level being a No.1? He will surely want to go and be a No 1 now.”

Wright added: “What frightens me is you look at someone like Frank [Lampard] and you look at what Chelsea’s doing, you just say to yourself: ‘Do you know something? Can we prise him away?’.

“This is what worries me, simply because you look at what he’s done and how he plays, he is better than Kepa now. I think he’s probably better than Bernd Leno if I’m going to be totally honest, from what I’ve seen. I’d be gutted [if Martinez left].

“To be honest I don’t want Bernd to go but what I’m saying about [Martinez] is we’ve got to be very careful with him because if Bernd does come back, he’s now played in a situation where he’s played fantastically, he’s been brilliant, and he’s probably got the taste for that now, so why would you want to go back to being a No.2 and not playing?”