Some inside Arsenal feel they made the wrong summer transfer decision

One of the biggest dilemmas that Mikel Arteta had in the summer was choosing who would become his first-choice goalkeeper.

The manager had watched as Emi Martinez had proven to be undroppable when given the chance during Project Restart.

The Argentinean took the chance afforded to him in the absence of Bernd Leno and helped the Gunners to win the FA Cup and the Community Shield.

He expected to be rewarded with the number one slot at the club and he demanded it.

The Gunners had to choose between him and Leno and Arteta stuck with the German and sold Martinez to Aston Villa.

The Argentinean has continued to prove an inspiring buy for the Midland side and Football Insider is revealing that Arsenal regrets letting him leave.

The report says the feeling inside the Emirates is that they let the wrong goalkeeper go.

Leno remains one of the best goalies in the Premier League, but the German has been outshone by Martinez in this turbulent season for the Gunners.

While Leno has kept just 11 clean sheets from 34 games this season, Martinez has 14 clean sheets from 27 games.

Now isn’t the time to regret past decisions, Leno needs to step up his performance now and help the club achieve its goals.

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Tags Bernd Leno Emiliano Martinez


  1. Martinez is superb and Arsenal made a huge mistake in selling him, Leno messes around in the penalty area too much and puts the team in dangerous situations.

  2. It’s not that I don’t rate Leno, it was just another poor decision on the part of the Arsenal brass considering the commanding presence he provided, which is such an underrated aspect for a keeper, and the fact that we have been trying to sort out the position, for more than a decade, then Emi does just that and somehow we look a gift horse in the mouth…we simply aren’t a good enough team to make these types of mistake

    likewise, we might have been able to rid ourselves of Luiz last summer and start the defensive rebuild sooner, since he fills the leadership vacuum that could occur when one deploys a more youthful backline(still think it’s sad that our club looks for it’s leadership to come from our two most error-prone and penalized players, in Luiz and Xhaka…enough said)

    not to mention, he was here for 10 years and clearly loves the club, which seems to be the same argument some have used to justify a potential re-signing of Mat Ryan, even though he’s been here for a cup of coffee and lost his starting job at a team battling for relegation…a real team would have gone for the keeper who replaced him, as that Sanchez kids much taller and has 6 clean sheets in his first 13 appearances

  3. The problem with Martinez, was the fact he “demanded” to be No. 1.
    Now whether he was correct in doing that, is another debate, but no manager can be held to ransom in such a way.
    I have a feeling that if a club had offered £20,000,000 for him a year ago, everyone would have been saying sell him, as he’s done nothing in the last decade to warrent such a figure… meanwhile Leno was playing out of his skin and winning MOTM on many occasions.
    There is no doubt that EM is a very good keeper, but someone who was quite content to be third choice far to often.
    He made his choice to leave, the club accepted his decision and used the money to invest for the future with Partey.
    It seems, if this report is to be believed of course, that we still have a “mole” inside the camp, as I’m sure MA wants to move on from all this speculation and crystal ball gazing.

    1. Hey Ken – I still believe Wenger made a very bad decision in offloading Szczesny when he did. I accept Szczesny made a few bad mistakes that season when he was undisputed No1, but he was still young and Wenger should have managed this situation so much better than he did. When Cech arrived, it would have been the perfect opportunity for Szczesny to be understudy for a season of two and learn off a pro who had been there and done it. I’m convinced Szczesny would have benefitted grin the experience and we would have had a top class keeper for years to come.
      I’m not Wenger bashing at all here Ken. Szezesny deserved a lot of the stick he was getting, and the smoking in the changing room at Southampton after his two mistakes cost us the game was no doubt the final straw. But I believe Wenger could and should have handled this so much more professionally than he did.

    2. Precisely KEN! The voice of reason among all the hysteria about “letting the wrong keeper go”. As you say , he wanted a guaranteed first choice andd NO PLAYER EVER, can demand that . Nor should he. MARTINEZ chose to do so and when he got the only possible answer, a no, he CHOSE to leave.


      1. Phil, have been keeping an eye on Szcz and he is doing well as you say.
        Also, he was a committed Gooner… but just couldn’t stick to the rules as a professional footballer.
        Like most employers (as yourself of course) if one has someone who repeatedly ignored the rules of the company, then they would have to be dealt with appropriately – that’s what happened with him.
        Could AW had given him yet another chance?
        How would that have been seen by the other players, who had seen this happen before?

        The above thoughts lead me to Jon’s reply and the “demands” made by Martinez – we saw under UE, what perceived player power can do and, despite the two keepers in question being very talented, for me both MA and AW made the right decision.

        If not for the ability they certainly had, but for the disruptiveness they would have caused by giving in to their unprofessional actions.

        The really bitter pill to swallow for me, is that I rated Sz as highly as you do Phil and rated Martinez as highly as Leno, if not more Jon.

        Funny old game!!!!

  4. Yeah Ken, I don’t actually blame Wenger for the Szczesny situation. As you say, he was a professional and should have acted as such. In regards Jon’s point on Martinez, it’s very difficult to argue with what he says. The player was unbelievably popular, and earned the right to be seriously considered as our No1. But demand it? Never. Arteta had no choice as no player could ever have that much power

  5. How is Martinez’s supposed demand for minutes any different than the clauses Arteta graciously accepted in both Willian’s contract or in Ode’s loan agreement…it would likewise seem that similar promises were given to both Luiz and Xhaka when Arteta “begged” them to stay on…I would agree with your statements a decade ago, but it’s clear now that club’s like ours, without European guarantees or the like, have to sometimes provide above market value wages and guarantees regarding starting minutes to secure the services of certain players…probably a by-product of the more agent-centric world of recruitment…at least Emi was an Gunner through-and-through, with 10 years of service and no known complaints up to that point…plain and simple, he should have stayed and Leno sold, if they needed to raise funds for the Partey acquisition

  6. Player made his decision, Club made its decision, Emi Martinez moved on, so should we and support the players we have, as its now water under the bridge.

  7. As a Villa fan, I have always looked at Leno as a decent PL keeper. I have, however, been amazed by how good Emi has been. It is not just his keeping – we had Heaton before who is a top keeper – but his presence has been fantastic. I am very pleased that you did sell him to us.

    I think the article is unfair though. Whilst I would have Emi in front of every PL keeper at the minute, to compare clean sheets with another keeper is not a true measurement of a keeper’s worth. Obviously, the defence plays a massive part in this and we have had a fantastic back four this season who have also benefitted from being very resilient/injury free. This clearly plays a significant part in keeping clean sheets and Emi has recognised this, albeit some of his performances and saves have been outstanding.

  8. While you have a point mentioning his Clean sheets and comparing them with Leno’s, it’s quite unfair to judge based off of just clean sheets. Have u seen Leno’s performance this season, taking into consideration he hasn’t had a solid defence in front of him. Villa have had a solid and stable back 4 this season, hence, Emi’s 14 CSs, taking nothing away from his saves. If u check matches where Villa have struggled, EMI has struggled. I don’t thin Arsenal sold the wrong keeper. I feel either decision would have been the right decision.
    With all that being said, Leno is a fantastic goalkeeper and just needs a better back 4.

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