Emi Martinez has revealed that he didn’t want to move to Arsenal in 2010, but he had to because his family needed the money.
Arsenal signed the Argentinian as a youngster from Independiente a decade ago after their scouts had spotted him.
The goalkeeper spent much of his time as a reserve at the Emirates before he eventually got his chance at the end of the 2019/2020 season.
He took it with both hands and the Gunners lifted the FA Cup and Community Shield with him in goal.
He was sold to Aston Villa at the start of last season when the Gunners kept Bernd Leno as their first-choice goalkeeper.
He has become one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League with a string of fine stops for Villa and won the Copa America with the Argentinian national team this summer.
The 29-year-old was discussing his move to Arsenal recently and admitted that he wanted to remain in Argentina, but he had to move to provide money for his family as he saw his dad struggling to take care of the home.
He told El Pais: ‘Arsenal came to look for me and Pepe Santoro [a coach at Independiente] told me that the train only passes once in a lifetime.
‘My family and my agents thought the same. So, the decision was more for them than anything else.
‘I didn’t want to go. I did not regret it, but I wanted to play in Independiente. For a while, I thought: ‘If I stayed, in two years I will make my debut. [My family] lacked a little financially. I did it more for that than sports.’