Emiliano Martinez posted an emotional farewell video to Arsenal ahead of his expected transfer to fellow Premier League side Aston Villa.
Martinez has been a member of the Arsenal set-up since 2010 and remained loyal even when opportunities for regular football were non-existent; leading him to go out on six separate loan spells across England and Spain.
The 28-year-old got a deserved chance to prove his worth in the Gunners goal last season following an injury to regular No.1 Bernd Leno and didn’t waste the opportunity by helping to secure a record 14th FA Cup, and the second of his career.
After helping Arsenal win the Community Shield in late August, however, the Argentine goalkeeper has been widely expected to leave.
Mikel Arteta hoped to sign Martinez on a new contract but couldn’t guarantee him the regular game time amid Leno’s return from injury. Therefore, he’s decided to end his association with the north London outfit for Aston Villa.
“Thank you Arsenal,” said Martinez in an Instagram video.
“For me, I could not be happier to leave through the front door with the Arsenal fanbase supporting me and the club supporting me.
“I had 11 years at the club, and even if it was a hard road for me, and I suffered through my time at Arsenal, today I am happy and I tried to show young goalies how work pays off.”
“When you work hard, you are not going to be happy the whole time, you are going to have frustration, bad times in life.
“They all understood at Arsenal and they support me for my decision. The Arsenal fanbase were always there for me, I felt their love.
“Even when Bernd got injured this season, I received loads of messages like ‘we trust in you’, ‘you are our goalie’. That made me confident, made me win games and made me the keeper I am today.
“They understood my story and they love the way I worked in the club. I am so glad to be part of the Arsenal family for 11 years.”
Martinez traveled to Birmingham on Tuesday to take part in a medical at Villa’s training facilities ahead of his reported €22m transfer.