Mikel Arteta has told his post-match press conference following Tuesday night’s 4-1 Carabao Cup quarter-final defeat to Manchester City that Arsenal had to make the decision to sell Emi Martinez to Aston Villa in the summer.
Pep Guardiola’s side cruised to victory at The Emirates as Arteta and the City boss met once again following Arteta’s move from The Etihad to North London. Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus, Phil Foden and Aymeric Laporte all scored.
Alexandre Lacazette’s header was a rare positive in a poor defeat for Arsenal on home soil. Goalkeeper and summer signing Alex Runarsson had a shocker in what was only his fifth appearance for the Gunners.
Jesus beat him to a cross just three minutes in before he fumbled Mahrez’s free-kick, the ball slipping through his fingers. Foden’s effort saw him go to ground early, and he could have come to collect the cross for Laporte’s goal.
It brought up questions over the decision to cash in on Martinez, who joined Villa for £17million (BBC) after impressing at Arsenal towards the back end of last season. Arteta responded to questions on the Argentine.
“It’s no point having any regrets or not,” Arteta said, when asked about Martinez’s exit – as per Football London. There were different reasons why we had to do that transaction.
“We did it and it’s part of the past. Emi had a really good few months last season. He really helped us and obviously when a goalkeeper makes an error these things are gonna come up.”
TBR’s view – Should Arsenal have kept Martinez?
The decision Arsenal had in the summer was whether to cash in on Martinez and raise funds for other players, or keep both him and Bernd Leno. The Gunners chose to make Leno first choice, though.
That convinced Martinez to go and Arsenal were given a tidy sum which they eventually put towards the purchase of Thomas Partey. So, even though it may have been a mistake letting Martinez go, they did get Partey as a result.