Arsenal legend Ian Wright has admitted he is still disappointed to have seen Emiliano Martinez leave the club for Aston Villa back in 2020.
Why did Arsenal sell Martinez?
The Argentine had spent a number of years in north London before the decision to leave came about in 2020 with the shot-stopper leaving on numerous loans throughout the years (via Transfermarkt).
However, an opportunity in the Arsenal first team did arise in the 2019/20 campaign for Martinez after Bernd Leno went down through injury.
Martinez was handed 23 appearances across all competitions in that campaign including their FA Cup final triumph at Wembley Stadium against Chelsea (via Transfermarkt).
That spell in the starting XI saw Martinez receive a lot of praise for his impressive performances between the sticks for the Gunners.
But it seems it also fuelled his demand for regular action in the starting XI which perhaps the north London side were unwilling to provide him with.
And speaking on the Behind The Game show, Wright has told the Argentine just how disappointed he was to see him leave the Emirates Stadium for Villa:
(7:14) “I can’t lie. I was disappointed to see you leave because, in that moment, you were amazing.”
Wright then revealed the voice note he sent the Argentine after he found out he was leaving for Villa Park:
“I remember I sent you a message when you were leaving Arsenal and I thought Villa got you for very, very cheap.”
“Hey Emi, it’s Ian Wright, man. I just want to say to you congratulations, thanks for the 10 years, man. You’ve been magnificent for us, never complained, just got in and took our chance. You deserve everything you’re getting. Good luck with the Argentina number one. I know you’re gonna get it. God bless.”
Did Arsenal make a mistake?
The Gunners have had a terrific campaign in the Premier League which has seen their defensive record proven to be one of the best in the league.
Their current goalkeeper, Aaron Ramsdale, has been able to keep the third-most amount of clean sheets in the league this season (12).
But since leaving, Martinez has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the league having enjoyed success in the league with Villa as well as for his country, Argentina.
Martinez has been able to keep just one fewer clean sheet (11) than Ramsdale who has operated in a side that is pushing to win the Premier League.
And internationally, the Argentine was able to get his hands on the Golden Glove award in the winter’s World Cup which he side tasted triumph.
His impressive spell at Villa has seen the £120k-per-week ace linked with a potential return to north London – just to the white side.
It is apparent Wright is still frustrated by the decision to leave the Gunners back in 2020, however, it is a move in which both parties have been able to blossom from.
Arsenal have seemingly found their long-term option in Ramsdale and Martinez has found somewhere that could potentially offer him European football for next season.
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