Arsenal keeper Martínez granted permit

Argentinean youngster Emilio Damián Martínez has been granted a work permit allowing him to play in competitive matches for Arsenal next season.

The goalkeeper is now expected to become the Gunners’ number one at youth team level.

The 17-year-old was signed by Arsene Wenger last August following a successful trial. However, he was not permitted to play for the Emirates Stadium outfit having not received a work permit.

Martinez is a regular for the Argentinean under-17 side and Wenger will no doubt be looking to develop the player into a possible first-team number one in the future.

The starlet spent much of last season with parent club Independiente before being invited back to Arsenal towards the end of the campaign.

But with the necessary paperwork now secured, Martinez will join up with the youth team at the beginning of the 2010/11 season, becoming the latest in a long line of talented youngsters tipped as future Arsenal gems.

He will be available to play from July 1, with the permit allowing him to play at reserve-team and first-team level should Wenger decide he is ready.

The South American has been rewarded with an incentive-based £1.3 million contract which he signed when the transfer originally went through.

He has already represented his new club, playing 45 minutes against Colorado Rapids at Arsenal’s training ground in March.

By Tom Parsons

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