The former Arsenal goalkeeper replaced the Emirates for Villa Park in a summer £ 20m deal
The Argentine goalkeeper returned to his former club for the first time Sunday evening after moving £ 20 million ($ 26.5 million) to Villa Park and helped his new team secure a convincing 3-0 victory.
It was Martinez’s fourth clean sheet in seven games this season and his summer elimination continues to be a source of frustration for many Arsenal fans, who believe the club should have done more to keep it.
But speaking after Sunday night’s match, Martinez was open to his decision to leave after more than 10 years in North London and revealed that he was determined to move forward, having been unable to overtake Bernd Leno in the standings with Arsenal despite his impressive form during it. The last months of last season when you hit the injured German goalkeeper.
I told him [Arteta] “I wanted to play week after week and couldn’t guarantee who would start,” said the 28-year-old.
“Even before the Community Shield, he didn’t know who was going to play in the goal. After 10 years at the club, I didn’t want to wait until Friday night, the day before the match, to know if I was going against Fulham [on the opening weekend] or not.
“So I just texted him to say I’m going to Aston Villa, so please help me and let me go.”
Martinez traveled to Birmingham while Arsenal beat Fulham at Craven Cottage on the opening weekend of the Premier League season and completed his transfer to Villa Park soon after.
The popular goalkeeper insists he holds no grudge for his failure to eject Lino at Arsenal No.1 battle and thanked Arteta for letting him leave when he had the opportunity.
“He was very honest and very open with me,” said the guard. “He helped me leave the club after so many years.
“Obviously I have ambitions and he couldn’t help the ambitions that I wanted, so we had a clear conversation. He is a very honest man and a great leader.
“I have already said how grateful I am for that and how happy I am with how happy he is at Arsenal. I am so happy that he is the club’s captain.”
Martinez added: “When I decided to come to Villa, it was because I trusted the coach and the club’s ambitions, and knew how big a villa was.
“Some people don’t realize how big Aston Villa can be. They all used to say it’s a step down in my career, but I’ve always said it’s a step up.
“I just wanted to play football with the first team and Arsenal couldn’t guarantee that for me. They didn’t say I would play in the first game of the season against Fulham, so when I suspected I had to leave. Fela was the first and only choice for me.”
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