Peter Crouch has suggested that Emiliano Martinez showcased what Arsenal are missing during Saturday’s 1-0 win for Aston Villa over the Gunners.
The former Premier League striker was discussing the goalkeeper in his weekly column for the Daily Mail.
Villa parted with £17 million to bolster their defensive ranks in the summer, tempting Arsenal into selling their backup stopper.
The move has paid dividends for Dean Smith, with his team the surprise package in the race to secure a place in Europe.
The Villans now have four more points than Arsenal having played two games left than Saturday’s opponents.
Martinez was the quieter of the two goalkeepers on Saturday but Crouch still thinks the Gunners should have held onto him.
He told the Daily Mail: “The signing of Emi Martinez has been critical for Villa.
“I couldn’t understand why Arsenal sold him and I was even more confused by that decision on Saturday.
“He was in possession of the jersey, he had won the FA Cup, so why let him go?
“Also, are any of Arsenal’s keepers better than him? I’d say no.”
TBR View: Are the Gunners living to regret the loss of Martinez?
Arteta will argue that he isn’t, to be honest.
Until he was sent off against Wolves, Bernd Leno had played in every single league game for Arsenal this season.
It seems as if, the Spaniard told both stoppers who would be his number one and that meant bad news for Martinez.
The Argentine kept goal with aplomb towards the back end of last season and he can perhaps count himself unlucky.
At 28 the goalkeeper wanted to play regular football and he’s certainly grasping the opportunity.
He has made 21 appearances for his new club, keeping 11 clean sheets.
Arsenal’s loss looks to be Villa’s gain.