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Emiliano Martinez reveals reasons for Arsenal exit

Emiliano Martinez reveals reasons for Arsenal exit
© Reuters
Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez reveals that he chose to leave Arsenal after being told that he had a "95% chance" of starting the first league game this season.

Emiliano Martinez has revealed that he decided to leave Arsenal after being told that he had a "95% chance" of starting the opening Premier League game of the season against Fulham.

The Argentine goalkeeper finally got his first run in the Arsenal first team following a Bernd Leno injury towards the end of last season, some 10 years after joining the club.

Martinez impressed during the final nine league games of the season and also played a pivotal role in the Gunners' FA Cup triumph, before then being named as the starting keeper ahead of a fit-again Leno for the Community Shield against Liverpool in August.

However, he admitted that manager Mikel Arteta's reluctance to guarantee him a starting role against Fulham on the opening day of the league season forced him to push for an exit, eventually joining Aston Villa in a £20m deal.

"I thought if I played well that game [Community Shield win], I would be number one, but afterwards it still wasn't clear who was going to start in the league," he told The Independent.

"I was told that there was a 95% chance I would start against Fulham, but I just thought, 'why not 100%?' Something didn't feel right.

"Everyone wanted me to stay, but that's when I decided to go. I wasn't upset or emotional, I was proud I did it. When I arrived at Arsenal [in 2010], there were nine goalkeepers in front of me. Every year I had to prove myself, but I left as number one. That was my story done there."

Martinez has since helped Aston Villa to three wins from three in the Premier League this season, keeping clean sheets in his first two appearances.

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Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno pictured on June 17, 2020
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