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Villa keeper Martinez: I never wanted to join Arsenal

Mon 06 September 2021 | 8:39

The goalkeeper has talked about joining Arsenal from Independiente when he began his career.

Emiliano Martinez

has opened up about his decision to switch to

Arsenal

in 2010, revealing that joining the Emirates Stadium was never his intention.

The

Aston Villa

shot-stopper was linked with a move to the Gunners from Independiente on a deal worth £1.1 million, being away from his family in Argentina to start a new challenge at the age of 17.

Martinez tried to make his way through Arsenal’s first team in the next decade, but he has now admitted that it would have been better if he had stayed in his homeland.

The goalkeeper, who joined Aston Villa in 2020 on a £20m ($28m) fee, said that the reason behind leaving Independiente was to provide for his family.

"

Arsenal came to look for me and Pepe Santoro [a coach at Independiente] told me that the train only passes once in a lifetime,"

the 29-year-old told Spanish publication El Pais.

"My family and my agents thought the same. So, the decision was more for them than anything else.

"I didn't want to go. I did not regret it, but I wanted to play in Independiente. For a while, I thought: 'If I stayed, in two years I will make my debut.' My family] lacked a little financially. I did it more for that than sports."

The Argentine shot-stopper played for Oxford, Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham, Wolves, Getafe and Reading on loan, watching Petr Cech, David Ospina, Wojciech Szczesny, Lukasz Fabianski and Manuel Almunia receive game time ahead of him.

Also ahead of him in the pecking order for a while was Bernd Leno, but the German sustained an injury when the 2019-20 season was reaching its end, giving his understudy an opportunity to come into the picture.

Martinez pulled off great performances and contributed to Arsenal’s FA Cup victory but the club manager chose to bring Leno back to be his No1 option.

Villa’s offer was then accepted, and he went on to establish himself as one of the best keepers while also being Argentina’s first option.


source: SportMob

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