Emi Martinez left Arsenal as Arteta couldn't guarantee first-team football

John Reid November 10, 2020
Emi Martinez left Arsenal as Arteta couldn't guarantee first-team football
Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez has disclosed that he left Arsenal in the transfer window as Mikel Arteta could not guarantee that he would place first-team football this season, the Evening Standard reports.

Martinez completed a £20m move to Villa in September and Martinez has opened up on discussions that took place with Arteta before the deal was completed.

“Just wanted to play”

“I just wanted to play first-team football and Arsenal could not guarantee me that. I told him I wanted to play week in, week out, and he couldn’t guarantee who was going to start. Even before the Community Shield he didn’t know who was going to play in goal” Martinez said, as quoted by the Evening Standard.

Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

“After 10 years at the club I didn’t want to wait until Friday night, the day before the game, to know whether I was going to play against Fulham or not” he concluded.

Martinez played in the Charity Shield, but was dropped in favour of Bernd Leno for the game against Fulham. That seems to have been the last straw for the player, as he elected to leave Arsenal not long afterwards.

Move seems to have paid off

The move seems to have paid off for Martinez so far. In his last game he kept a clean sheet against his former team, as Aston Villa defeated Arsenal 3-0.

Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

You can’t really blame a player for wanting to play every week, and that was not going to happen for Martinez at Arsenal. That was all but confirmed when he didn’t start against Fulham.

Still, you have to wonder if perhaps Arsenal regret deciding to sell Martinez. He might well have ended up as the current number one as Bernd Leno hasn’t exactly had a brilliant start to the season. Even if Arsenal do regret selling the player, there is no point in keeping someone who wants to leave at a club.

At least Martinez is now getting the first-team football that he craved, and that can only be a good thing for the player.

Villa will regard the signing as a bargain, after their excellent start to the season, and Martinez has been a big part of that.

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John Reid is an experienced journalist, specialising in Scottish football for a number of years.