Martinez 'devastated' for injured Leno but Arsenal goalkeeper is 'ready' to step up

Goal.com

Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez admitted that he was "devastated" by the injury to Bernd Leno that threw the Argentine into the action against Brighton on Saturday.

Leno was forced off 40 minutes into the Premier League clash after landing heavily on his right leg under pressure from Neal Maupay

Clearly incensed by Maupay's actions, the keeper continued to berate his opponent even after being placed on a stretcher as Martinez was sent on in his stead. 

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Nicolas Pepe went on to put Arsenal in the lead, only for Brighton to surge back and claim all three points with Maupay's last-gasp winner. 

Martinez is now in line for a rare run of first-team action, and while he bemoaned his colleague's injury he believes he is ready to step up for the Gunners. 

"In the goalkeepers' union, you don't want the other goalies to get injured because it can happen to anyone," Martinez told Arsenal's official website after the final whistle.

"We train every day together, we support each other, we're really close, we even have a WhatsApp group for just me, Bernd and Matt [Macey] - it is devastating to be honest.

"I wish him a speedy recovery and if he needs the rest of the season, me and Matt will try to do a good job in the Premier League and try to cover him as much possible.

"The last time [I played] in the Premier League was three years ago. But I wasn't thinking about it when I just came on.

"I made a save straight afterwards. I am so disappointed for the result, I thought we deserved to be 2-0 or 3-0 up. But you just take it and learn from it."

Saturday's defeat put a serious dent in Arsenal's slim Champions League hopes, and the keeper admits that they paid the price for a lack of concentration.

The former Independiente trainee added to BBC Sport: "We switched off and when you switch off in the Premier League you get punished.

"I spoke to [Leno] at half-time and he felt he twisted his knee. As a goalkeeper you do not want him to get injured. It is a big loss to the team.

"I don't think [Neal Maupay] tried to injure him. He went for the ball like any striker would do and this is football. It can happen.

"You train hard and have to wait for your chance. I am more than ready."

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