Arsenal keeper crisis: Martinez in goal and teenager on bench
Argentine will wear gloves against Anderlecht... in first appearance since 7-5 win over Reading
Arsenal will be forced to play their third-choice goalkeeper against Anderlecht in the Champions League on Wednesday, two years after he conceded five goals against Reading on his last appearance for the Gunners.
Emiliano Martinez will don the gloves because first-choice keeper Wojciech Szczesny is suspended and reserve David Ospina is injured. It will only be the 22-year-old Argentine's third outing for Arsenal. The previous two appearances came in the League Cup in 2012 against Coventry City and Reading, when he was in goal as the Gunners recovered from 4-0 down to win 7-5.
Since then he has spent time on loan with Sheffield United, where he made 15 appearances, and that makes Martinez a gnarled veteran in comparison to the teenagers who are vying for a place on the Arsenal bench on Wednesday.
Arsene Wenger must choose between 17-year-old Ryan Huddart and Josh Vickers, 18, as reserve in Brussels.
For those that have not heard of the two keepers the Daily Telegraph provides potted biographies. "Huddart is an England Under-17 international and has played regularly for Arsenal's Under-18 team since being signed from Charlton Athletic," it says. "Vickers has the senior experience of playing on loan last season for Canvey Island in the Ryman Premier League."
Huddart, despite being the younger of the two looks likely to get the nod, says The Times. Although it acknowledges that the situation is not ideal.
"Huddart is Arsenal's sixth-choice goalkeeper, and while his sudden elevation from the academy is the result of a freak confluence of factors, many fans are tired of hearing Wenger bemoan his ill fortune," the paper notes.
Elsewhere on the pitch things are improving for the Gunners, although Martinez may find himself marshalling a back four containing two teenagers in the form of Calum Chambers and Hector Bellerin, in the continued absence of Laurent Koscielny and Mathieu Debuchy, although Nacho Monreal will likely start ahead of Bellerin.
There is better news in midfield where both Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta should be available.