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Arsenal transfer news: Mikel Arteta stands by decision to sell Emiliano Martinez

Emiliano Martinez
(Image credit: PA)

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has no regrets over his decision to sell Emiliano Martinez to Aston Villa in the summer.

Martinez will make his first ever appearance against the club he served for 10 years at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Martinez joined Arsenal way back in 2010 but was a peripheral figure for the vast majority of his time in north London.

The Argentine went out on six different loan spells between 2012 and 2019, while making only 14 appearances for the Gunners.

He was finally given a sustained run in the first team towards the end of last season when first-choice shot-stopper Bernd Leno was ruled out through injury.

Martinez was largely excellent in his nine Premier League appearances and also shone in Arsenal's successful FA Cup campaign.

That presented Arteta with a dilemma after Leno returned to full fitness, but the Spaniard ultimately opted to stick with the German as his No.1.

Martinez duly joined Villa in a deal worth £20m and Arteta says he stands by his decision.

“No [I have no regrets]. When we sat down and we believed it was the right thing to do.

“He was still very willing to get the No.1 shirt and play regularly but we had to give him the choice to decide where he wanted to play.

He has earned a lot of respect in this country, he has been here for 10 years and with his performances for us in the last few months.

“He believed it was the right club for him so I was happy to let him go and make the right decision for his career.

“His start there hasn’t surprised me. He has become really hungry, really competitive and really clear about what he wanted to do in the next chapter of his career, so I am sure he will be a success.”

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