Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says £47k-a-week Aston Villa ace is ‘tremendous’
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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says £47k-a-week Aston Villa ace is 'tremendous'

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has waxed lyrical about Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, who left the Gunners just last year.

The 29-year-old, who spent 10 years on Arsenal’s books, swapped the Emirates for Villa in a reported £20million deal in 2020.

Martinez was a deputy for much of his time at Arsenal, but excelled during Bernd Leno’s absence at the end of the 2019-20 campaign.

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His impressive performances in between the sticks helped Arsenal win the FA Cup and Community Shield.

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However, desire for regular first-team football and winning caps for Argentina led to Martinez seeking first-team action elsewhere.

It proved the right decision for Martinez, who is not only getting regular game time at Villa but has also become indispensable for Argentina.

Indeed, the £47,000-a-week man’s efforts helped the Albiceleste win the Copa America this summer.

To this day, some Arsenal fans bemoan the sale of Martinez, particularly now Leno has become second-choice behind Aaron Ramsdale.

Speaking ahead of the Gunners’ Premier League meeting with Villa, Arteta talked to the club’s media team about the decision to sell Martinez.

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“We made decisions with the best possible intentions and looking for the best interests of the club,” said Arteta.

“But as well it was a very strong participant, it was Emi, who deserves all the credit for the amount of time he spent at the club.

“Snd don’t forget that he had different spells in his career and he got to a point in his career when under me he started to play in important games and he did extremely well.

“His ambition, his belief and where wants to take his career was very different and it was urgent for him because he was so patient for so long and I’m really happy that he’s doing so well.

“He’s a great keeper, I played with him, I managed him, and he has tremendous personality as well and he’s showing that at Aston Villa and the national team.

“I can say that I’m happy for him.”

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