Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright has admitted that he was “devastated” to see goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez leave the Emirates Stadium during the summer transfer window and join Aston Villa.
After Gunners No.1 Bernd Leno suffered a season-ending injury during the disappointing 2-1 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion back in June, Martinez was called upon to act as the club’s new first choice shot-stopper until the end of the campaign.
The former Reading and Sheffield Wednesday loanee delivered a series of fine showings and even helped the club lay their hands on the FA Cup, as they defeated Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley.
Click to play
Tap to play
The video will auto-play soon8Cancel
But with Leno poised to return ahead of the start of the 2020/21 Premier League campaign, Martinez knew that it was highly likely that the German would be integrated as the club’s first choice goalkeeper once again.
With that in mind, Martinez, who had been sent out on loan by the Gunners on six separate occasions during his time at the Emirates Stadium, knew that he would have to seal a permanent exit from the club if he was to bolster his chances of one day becoming Argentina’s No.1.
In the end, Aston Villa made a move for his signature, landing him in a deal worth up to £20million in mid-September.
Since making the switch to Villa Park, Martinez has become an instant fans’ favourite, installing himself as one of Dean Smith’s most important players. So far this season, the 28-year-old has racked up 10 Premier League appearances, keeping five clean sheets during that time.
And Martinez impressed again against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday lunchtime, helping Villa secure a 1-0 win at Molineux.
By signing up for our Arsenal newsletter, you will receive a once-daily email, focused around goings-on at Emirates Stadium.
You won’t miss a thing when it comes to the Gunners – you’ll get all you need to know…