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Mikel Arteta explains Emiliano Martinez and Bernd Leno decision vs Liverpool

Mikel Arteta has opened up on his decision to pick Emiliano Martinez ahead of Bernd Leno against Liverpool in the Community Shield.

The Argentine goalkeeper was the Gunners’ first-choice goalkeeper at the end of 2019/20 after Leno was ruled out for the season after sustaining an injury against Brighton in June.

Martinez’s fantastic form has lead to speculation that he could leave the club in search of first-team football, with reports stating Arsenal are prepared to sell him for £20million, with Aston Villa and clubs in Spain interested.

However, the 27-year-old has retained his place against Liverpool and Arteta has explained his thinking behind the decision.

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“I have two fantastic goalkeepers, I think Emi (Martinez) finished the season really strong,” Arteta told BT Sport ahead of kick-off.

“He was our goalkeeper in the FA Cup and he deserves to play this final.”

With several players unavailable having only just returned from their end-of-season break, Arteta admitted the preparation for the game has not been ideal.

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“This is what we have available, as you can see there are a lot of names not even on the bench,” Arteta added.