“I had a discussion” Emi Martinez discusses Mikel Arteta’s reaction to him leaving Arsenal

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez earned his move to Villa after delivering some superb performances for Arsenal at the end of the 2019/2020 season.

The Argentinian had been at the club for a decade, but his breakthrough came during that stage of the season as he helped Arsenal win the FA Cup.

At the start of the 2020/2021 season, Mikel Arteta had to choose between him and Bernd Leno, and the Spaniard was forced to let Martinez go after failing to provide him with guarantees.

Martinez has now won the World Cup and is considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world, while Arsenal has had three number-ones since he left the club.

He recently spoke about his move away from the Emirates and revealed that he communicated to Mikel Arteta that he had to play because of his international future.

Martinez told L’Equipe:

I had a discussion with Mikel Arteta, my coach at Arsenal, and I told him that my dream was to play for the national team and that for that I had to leave.

“He didn’t like it, but he understood, he told me he would give me an exit voucher and Aston Villa took a gamble on me. Thanks to this club, I was able to achieve my goal and this year we are playing in a European cup for the first time in thirteen years. It’s win-win.”

Just Arsenal Opinion

Martinez had a good spell with us during the months that he was our first choice and we made good money from selling him.

However, he probably would not have been this good if he stayed at the Emirates and was relegated to the number two spot.

Tags Emiliano Martinez


  1. It’s win for him but really a win for us, since he departed we have used 4 other goalkeepers who are not close to his quality the only one who can really challenge him has been benched for a goalkeeper we got on loan.

  2. Better keeper than Leno, Ramsdale and Raya in my opinion.

    Im sure the false rumour of him demanding to be no.1 for the season will appear soon here 🙂 the reality is that he wanted a fair run at no.1 spot and he had earned it.

    Worked out well for him, now a World Cup Winner.

    1. Even if rumours were true, Emi totally deserved to be number 1, if it was a decision based on merit (i.e. recent performances at that time)

  3. EMI Martinez is what you would terms a phase five goal keeper, surely the gaffer had error on this one.

  4. Rather passe by now, I’d have thought.

    Though an article on such as Bob Wilson, David Seaman, Jack Kelsey and other LONGER TERM great keepers of ours, rather than the blink and you’d miss him FIRST TEAM career of Martinez, would be welcomed.
    NB: the words “FIRST TEAM” were emphasised for a good reason, which I guess most, though not all, will easily understand.

  5. The one who got got away because MA chose to start the keeper he favoured instead of the keeper who was performing better at that time

  6. Talking of top goalkeepers, best wishes and get well soon to PAT JENNINGS – what a brilliant keeper “shovel hands” was.

  7. No. It is still right to talk about Emi because we are currently going through a keeper crisis which should not have been.

    Boy Scout error by Arteta. I said at the time that Emi was by far the better keeper. Arteta went on the belief that Leno was having a good season before his hand injury and was more experienced. (LOL: the manager himself had no experience). But he was nowhere near the world-class level Emi showed.

    Arteta nearly made the same mistake with Saliba, who rightly complained that the manager never gave him a chance. And he has made the same mistake with Kai who had a terrible season with Chelsea, yet Arteta took him for £65m.

    If he had not made these two bad decisions, we would have put Kai’s money into getting a more competent box-to-box midfielder and kept Emi.

    All we would have needed right now is a striker and Arsenal would be good to go. I dare say he made a huge mistake there as well in letting Balogun go instead of Nketiah. I’m sure I will be proved right once again.

  8. We’re seriously having scouting problem at Arsenal ,too many mistakes leno was and still is the best in my honest opinion . Madison was there for free but we went all out for Harvetz even now I don’t understand the logic behind it

  9. I thought Martinez was let go because he wanted assurances that he would be number 1. When told that could not be the case he decided to leave. Let’s not forget that he’d been the reserve gk for years having been passed over.
    That doesn’t mean that I didn’t think he was good, because I did.

  10. Martinez is old news and why being bought up again now is puzzling. Having said that I will of course add my best wishes to our ex-keeper Pat Jennings who made 237 appearances for us and who also played for spurs making 472 appearances.

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