Argentine stopper Emiliano Martinez has revealed that he decided to depart from Arsenal after being told that he had a “95% chance” of starting the opening match against Fulham in the English top-tier.
The 28-year-old stopper finally got his first run in the the Gunners first team following a Bernd Leno injury towards the end of last campaign.
Martinez impressed for Arsenal’s last 9 games in the Premier League last season and also played a vital role in the Norht London club’s’ FA Cup win, before then being named as the starting stopper ahead of a fit-again Leno for the Community Shield match against Liverpool.
However, he admitted that the Gunners head-coach Mikel Arteta’s reluctance to guarantee him a No.1 role against Fulham on the opening day of the Premier League campaign forced him to push a switch to Aston Villa.
“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 Dean Smith’s side to win all three Premier League games this campaign, keeping clean sheets in his first two games.