Emi Martinez has praised Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, claiming he deserves to be where he is.
The Argentine goalkeeper spent a number of years in north London waiting for his chance to shine, and when he finally got his chance to deputise for an injured Bernd Leno, he did just that. Many believed he would have been able to keep his place ahead of the German had he stayed, but Emi decided he wasn’t willing to stay unless he would be guaranteed the role.
Leno ended up enjoying that full season almost unrivalled for the first-team slot, with Mat Ryan coming in on loan in January after Alex Runarsson had failed to impress as his deputy. The Gunners put in a strong effort to land Ramsdale the following summer however, and after initially started the season as second-choice, quickly established himself as not only the club’s clear number one, but as one of the best goalkeepers in the division this term.
Since Aaron’s emergence, there has been little talk of Martinez’s exit, but the latter is happy for his counterpart.
“I know what he’s been through,” Emi told Ben Foster on Amazon Prime Video’s YouTube channel He played in League One, League Two, Championship relegated from the Premier League. He has been through a lot.
“Now, he’s winning every game and fighting for (a place in the) Champions League.
“He doesn’t know what to do with himself (while celebrating), he’s sliding, jumping in the air, you know. He deserves it!”
It certainly is a joy to see Ramsdale passionately celebrating with his team-mates, as his passion spreads out across the entire fanbase, and it is nice to know that Emi clearly has no ill-feelings about how he was treated in north London. It seems odd now to think that Emi’s departure no doubt played a role in us eventually ending up with Ramsdale, as had Martinez stayed and overthrown Leno last term, we may not have seen the goalkeeper’s role as one we should be bolstering, although at the time it is possible that one would have pushed to leave and had been replaced by the Englishman.