Arsenal parted ways with Emiliano Martinez in the summer, a decision that proved controversial amongst some Gunners fans.
The 28-year-old, who spent 10 years on the Gunners’ books, officially swapped the Emirates Stadium for Aston Villa in a reported £20million deal.
Martinez, who has spent most of his Arsenal career as a deputy, excelled in the absence of Bernd Leno at the tail end of last season and in the Community Shield at the start of 2020-21.
However, a desire for regular first-team football and winning caps for Argentina led to the player seeking first-team action elsewhere, culminating in a move to the West Midlands side.
Martinez has made a superb start for Villa, his four appearances for them this term yielding three clean sheets, with only Liverpool scoring past him.
BBC Sport pundit Clinton Morrison has praised Martinez’s efforts so far and also said he rates the Argentine higher than Leno.
“I know Arsenal had Leno, but I felt Martinez is a better goalkeeper than Leno,” he said on BBC Radio 5 Live (7:29pm, 19/10/20).
“That’s just my opinion. I think it’s good business for Aston Villa. Yeah, he has been brilliant for them.”
While some Arsenal fans have bemoaned Martinez’s departure, wondering why the club has let him leave, you can’t begrudge him for wanting first-team football elsewhere, something difficult to obtain at the Emirates Stadium given Leno’s presence.
Mikel Arteta was unlikely to keep the £100,000-a-week stopper on the bench given he too is quality, so unfortunately it’s just one of those things where Martinez had to go elsewhere to get first-team football – but it’s great to see him doing so well.