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Mikel Arteta insists Emi Martinez call was right despite Bernd Leno's fall from grace

 Arsenal let Emi Martinez move to Aston Villa in 2020, confirming Bernd Leno as the north London club's first-choice goalkeeper, but Leno has since lost his starting spot to Aaron Ramsdale

Arsenal faced a crossroads back in the summer of 2020 when it came to the goalkeeping future of the club.

Bernd Leno had missed the end of the season through injury and, in his absence, long-time backup Emi Martinez had stepped up in a big way.

Fresh off an FA Cup win, Martinez wanted first-team football Arsenal and Mikel Arteta couldn't make that promise, but Aston Villa could, and the Argentine made a £20m switch to Villa Park just days into the new season.

As he prepares to face his former club, the 29-year-old is likely to come up against Aaron Ramsdale rather than Leno, with the latter falling out of favour at the Emirates Stadium.

However, despite making another change between the sticks, Arteta remains convinced his club made the right decision last year.

Emi Martinez won the FA Cup with Arsenal in 2020 

Image: 
Getty Images)


Speaking in a press conference ahead of Arsenal's Friday night Premier League game at home to Villa, Arteta spoke highly of the goalkeeper but maintained the Gunners made the right call.


"We made decisions with the best possible interest of the club. But as well a big participant was Emi," Arteta said.

"He got to a point in his career where under me he started to play big games very well.

"It was urgent for him because he wanted to play so long. He’s a great kid. I played with him I managed him. I can say that I’m happy for him."

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