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‘Leno isn’t a top-4 keeper!’ – Arsenal legend slams decision to sell Martinez

Bernd Leno, Emiliano Martinez, Arsenal
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Bernd Leno is no ‘top-four goalkeeper’, says Tony Adams, who reckons Arsenal’s decision to sell Emiliano Martinez was a bad move.

A ligament injury sidelined Leno at a crucial stage in June last season, leaving it up to Martinez to spare Arsenal’s blushes.

Expectations were mixed on the 28-year-old, who had been loaned out six times previously since his arrival in 2010. But to his credit, he proved himself as a top keeper when his big chance finally came.

Martinez proved to be a safe pair of hands in the club’s time of need, helping them win the FA Cup and Community Shield.

When the time finally came for Mikel Arteta to make the big call, however, the Gunners boss chose Leno as his first-choice. Therefore, Martinez packed his bags for Aston Villa in a €17.4m deal in mid-September.

“Martinez was incredible in their cup run. He was absolutely sensational,” Adams told Astro SuperSport.

“And I do like big ones and what Leno does struggle with, for me, is crosses and stuff.

“But it isn’t about me. Arteta’s gone, “No, Leno is my number one, I like him,” and he’s put all his faith in him. But I don’t believe that he’s a top-four goalkeeper, for me.

“Martinez, it was a coincidence, everything fell into place for Arsenal in the cup competition last year, it was like it was written in the stars.

“This goalkeeper comes in – been at the club for 10 years and not played 10 games – and he stops everything! He was a man possessed, he was absolutely incredible. And for me, he was the number one.

“Now you’ve made the opportunity, you’ve got experience, go okay, yep. But Arteta’s the man and he’s chosen a different goalkeeper.”