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Martinez reveals how he pleaded to Arteta to leave Arsenal

Emiliano Martinez, Arsenal, Aston Villa
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Emiliano Martinez has opened up on his decision to end a decade-long association with Arsenal and how he asked Mikel Arteta for a transfer.

After Arteta provided no assurances over regular opportunities in goal for this season, Martinez sent the Arsenal manager a text message requesting him to allow a move to Aston Villa in September.

The 28-year-old stepped up superbly in the absence of Bernd Leno the last term to help the Gunners win the FA Cup and pulled off several impressive performances in the Premier League itself.

Martinez endeared himself further to the Arsenal faithful by keeping Liverpool at bay in the club’s Community Shield victory in August.

But Leno’s return from injury left Arteta with a goalkeeping crisis – stick with Martinez or hand the reins back to his previous No.1.

“I told him [Arteta] I wanted to play week in, week out and he couldn’t guarantee who was going to start,” explained Emiliano on Goal.

“Even before the Community Shield, he didn’t know who was going to play in goal. After 10 years at the club, I didn’t want to wait until Friday night, the day before the game, to know whether I was going to play against Fulham [on the opening weekend] or not.

“So I just texted him to say I was going to Aston Villa, so please help me and let me go.”

Arteta sanctioned Martinez’s €17.4m transfer to Villa, and the goalkeeper completed the move shortly after Arsenal’s 3-0 opening-day win over Fulham in the Premier League.

“He was very honest and very open with me,” the Argentine said on Arteta. “He helped me to 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’s a very honest man and a great leader.

“I’ve already said how grateful I am for that and how pleased I am about how well he is doing at Arsenal. I’m so happy he is the leader of the club.”

Martinez marked his return to Emirates Stadium on Sunday by keeping a clean sheet to help Villa defeat Arsenal 3-0.