Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was quizzed about Emi Martinez today ahead of the goalkeeper’s return to the Emirates.
The Argentine got his chance in his final few months at Arsenal after Bernd Leno suffered a serious injury. Martinez stepped up and quickly became one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League.
Arteta had a decision to make at the end of that season and he decided to let Martinez go. The 29-year-old moved to Aston Villa and his performances since have shown us that Arsenal may have made the wrong decision.
However, the Arsenal boss revealed today that circumstances last year gave him no choice but to let Martinez go.
Arteta: Emi Martinez has a tremendous personality
The Spaniard said, as per Arsenal.com: “We made decisions with the best possible intentions and looking for the best interests of the club, but as well, he was a very strong participant.
“It was Emi, who deserves all the credit for the amount of time he spent at the club and don’t forget that he had different spells in his career and he got to a point in his career when under me he started to play in important games and he did extremely well.
“His ambition, his belief and where wants to take his career was very different and it was urgent for him because he was so patient for so long and I’m really happy that he’s doing so well.
“He’s a great keeper, I played with him, I managed him, and he has tremendous personality as well and he’s showing that at Aston Villa and the national team. I can say that I’m happy for him.”
The Insider’s View:
Arteta’s decision to pick Leno over Martinez has proved costly for Arsenal. The German isn’t even the number one now and his replacement, Aaron Ramsdale, cost us a hefty fee that could raise up to £30 million. (Sky Sports)
However, the Gunners really didn’t have a choice last year.
Both goalkeepers wanted the number one spot, which was impossible. Arsenal had to let one of them go and the only offer that arrived on the table was for Martinez from Villa.
That made it a straightforward deal to complete and Edu did just that. Arsenal got a decent fee and Villa signed a top-class goalkeeper. We just have to forget and move on now instead of dwelling on something we cannot change.