Sports 'I love Arsenal but they didn't deserve me' - Aston Villa goalkeeper Martinez opens up on Gunners exit
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Emiliano Martinez has revealed he left Arsenal due to a lack of trust shown in him by the club.
The Argentine goalkeeper came through the ranks at the Gunners after joining from Independiente in 2010 as a 17-year-old.
He spent spells on loan away from the club and eventually left for a permanent move to Aston Villa in the summer of 2020, revealing that he didn't feel the north Londoners deserved him.
What's been said?
"I love everything about Arsenal," Martinez told. "I still love them and I'm still watching the games, but I just felt like they didn't trust me like they should have.
"That's the reality because they kept buying goalkeepers to go in front of me and I was the goalkeeper from the academy.
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"When I was on a high, I still felt like they didn't deserve me because of the way they were treating me. They couldn't guarantee me the games I needed so I thought that if they couldn't guarantee me the games I needed, then I'm moving on.
"They didn't say to me that I wasn't going to play, they just didn't guarantee me the games that I wanted to play.
"So, after 10 years, I decided to leave, and it was very difficult. My family didn't understand why I was leaving when I was at such a good level at Arsenal, but it was my decision to leave and I'm really proud I did it.
"It was a gamble, but I always believe that if you stay in the comfort zone, you will never reach anything in life. I decided to take the step up."
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LEEDS, England — Anwar El Ghazi’s early goal clinched Aston Villa a 1-0 win at Leeds and lifted his side to within a point of the English Premier League top six on Saturday. El Ghazi was left unmarked to turn home the only goal from close range in the fifth minute and dogged defending saw Villa avenge its 3-0 home loss to Leeds in October. Villa secured just its second win in seven league games on the road, while Leeds’ up-and-down first season back in the top-flight continued. Marcelo Bielsa’s side was denied back-to-back home wins after Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat of Southampton and was rarely allowed to hit the same heights.
Martinez's aims at Villa
It could be argued Martinez was justified in making the move, as Aston Villa are two points ahead of Arsenal in the table and have a game in hand.
European football may be beyond them this term, but that is a target for the 28-year-old.
"When I signed for Villa, from day one I said it was a step up in my career and I want to qualify for Europe with the club," Martinez said. "I don't know if that is this season or next season, but that's something I really want to do.
"After the Sheffield United game, I saw a dressing room that is willing to fight. They didn't accept the loss, which is something that I really like. I saw disappointment because of trying to get into Europe and it is something that I'm starting to think, and the other players are starting to think could happen."
Villa face Wolves and Newcastle over the next seven days and positive results would keep them in the mix for European qualification.
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