Luke Hatfield is still stunned that Arsenal let goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez go and join Aston Villa.
After nearly 10 years of waiting for his chance in north London, the Argentinean finally got the number one shirt after the lockdown following an injury to Bernd Leno and played a huge role in the Gunners’ victory in their 13th FA Cup .
What happened with Martinez?
Leno’s injury saw Martinez step into the squad and start 11 straight games in which he showed brilliant form, keeping four clean sheets, losing only to Tottenham and Aston Villa.
However, the German returned to full form ahead of the 2020-2021 campaign and Mikel Arteta has decided Leno is his first choice goalkeeper again despite Martinez’s brilliant performances before.
With that in mind, despite his 10-year affiliation with Arsenal, Martinez left four days after the start of the Premier League season and joined Villa for £ 17million.
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Villa used no less than four goalkeepers in the league in 2019-20 as they survived the final day at West Ham, although Martinez was most certainly signed to become their new number one.
He had an exceptional first campaign at Villa Park, playing every minute in the league and kept 15 clean sheets, improved only by Edouard Mendy and Ederson.
Martinez has continued his form this season, retaining three more shutouts in six appearances, the latest coming as Villa ended their long wait for a win at Manchester United last month.
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He produced another great goalkeeper display at Tottenham on Sunday despite the 2-1 loss and Hatfield is still surprised Arsenal failed to keep him.
What did Hatfield say?
He told GIVEMESPORT: “The biggest one, I think, that really stings Arsenal fans is the Martinez stuff, because you look back now and think what the hell were Arsenal thinking about letting such a talented goalkeeper go, because ‘At Villa he blossomed, he became Argentina’s number one and probably has tripled his value now and Arsenal have spent an extra £ 30million on another goalkeeper to compete with Leno. “
Was it an Arsenal mistake?
Based on last season alone, it was an extremely questionable decision from Arteta.
Martinez, 6-foot-5, outscored Leno by far and without a late-season meltdown Villa would have finished above Arsenal in the standings.
However, 12 months after Martinez left, Aaron Ramsdale was signed by Arsenal and having kept three sheets clean and having only conceded once in four games, his arrival could have rectified their decision to sell the Argentine.
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