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Martinez sends message to Arteta after leaving Arsenal for Aston Villa


Emiliano Martinez says he still has enormous respect for Mikel Arteta despite the Spaniard’s decision effectively ending his 10-year stay in north London.

Argentinean goalkeeper Martinez completed a £20million move to Aston Villa on Wednesday, moving on despite his run in the team at the back end of last season.

After six loan spells away from the club, Martinez was finally relied upon as Arsenal’s de facto No.1 in the absence of the injured Bernd Leno, and he starred as the Gunners beat Chelsea in the FA Cup final at the beginning of August.

As Leno returned to fitness, Martinez kept his place as Liverpool were beaten on penalties in the Community Shield last month, but once Arteta made it clear that the German would return as No.1, Martinez stated his desire to leave.

Villa moved to sign him, and after joining up with his new club on Wednesday he spoke glowingly of the Gunners and Arteta.

Martinez joined Villa on Wednesday

“I think I won three FA Cups, three Community Shields [when he wasn’t involved], but actually I wasn’t part of the team, I wasn’t getting the minutes that I needed,” he told the Gunners website.

“So I never felt that I won it. I was part of the team, but I never felt like it was mine. And I had to go on loan after loan after loan to come back and have a chance to become the keeper I am today.

“And when I won those trophies [FA Cup and Community Shield], it was ‘this is me’. Arsenal obviously they tried to retain me and obviously I spoke with Mikel, I spoke with the club.

Martinez says he holds no ill-will towards Arteta

Mikel Arteta’s Gunners have been starved of title glory for a while now – but things could be changing as a new-look Arsenal side plot a course to success.

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New signings Willian and Gabriel Magalhaes both hit the ground running against Fulham but Mikel Arteta is still on the lookout for new signings. Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar and Brentford keeper David Raya are two of the names on their radar.

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“But they understood my decision and they respected it. And that’s Arsenal, you know. When you give everything for the club they will respect you.

“So I am grateful to be the player I am and the person I am. I came here as a young boy, single, from Argentina, from a poor country, a poor family. And I’m leaving with a wife, with a kid, and as a man. And everything is because of Arsenal as well.

“I just want to say to the fans that they should trust the process, they are doing really good work with Mikel and his staff and I wish them all the best.”


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