Emiliano Martinez revealed that he notified Mikel Arteta over his decision to leave the club over text.
The Argentine shot-stopper had spent a decade at Arsenal before he got his first real run in the first team towards the back end of last season, following Bernd Leno’s injury in the defeat away to Brighton and Hove Albion.
However, he wasn’t given guarantees over becoming the club’s number one, so decided to leave for Aston Villa for a fee believed to be £20m.
In an interview ahead of midlands outfit’s win over the Gunners, he revealed how undecided Arteta was about who would be number one.
He said: “I was talking to him in front of a team-mate as well. I told him I wanted to play week in, week out and he couldn’t guarantee who was going to start.”
“Even before the Community Shield, he didn’t know who was going to play in goal. So I just text him to say I was going to Aston Villa, so please help me and let me go.” (via The Independent)
Was Arteta right to keep Leno as the number one keeper?
In all seriousness, the decision to keep Leno as the number one proves to be a brilliant one from the Spaniard. Prior to the start of this campaign, the German had performed heroically in goal for the Gunners since he joined from Bayer Leverkusen, finishing second in the player of the season rankings last year (2019/2020).
Leno has also made 239 saves in the Premier League since his move to the Emirates Stadium in 2018, averaging out at just over three saves a game across his 70 top division appearances.
However, the most crucial aspect of his play which makes him a better option than Martinez is his ability on the ball. Whilst the Villa number one has a pass success rate of just 57.3%, Leno’s is 87.9% showing his suitability at carrying out Arteta’s demands of wanting to play out of the back.
Keeping the Germany international over the £20m summer departure was a decision based on the impeccable form of the keeper in the years prior to this summer. Leno had performed incredibly and deserved the opportunity to hold on to the number one jersey this season.
Arsenal fans, do you think keeping Leno as the number one was the correct decision? Let us know!