Emiliano Martinez has confirmed that he wanted to leave Arsenal after being told that he had a “95% chance” of starting the season’s opening Premier League game against Fulham.
The Argentine goalkeeper finally got his first run in the Arsenal first team after an injury to Bernd Leno towards the end of last season, some 10 years after joining the club.
However, on the opening day of the league season, ultimately joining Aston Villa in a £ 20 m deal, he revealed that the inability of manager Mikel Arteta to guarantee him a starting position against Fulham forced him to press for an exit.
“I thought if I played well that game [Community Shield win], I would be number one, but afterward it still wasn’t clear who was going to start in the league,” he told the.
“I was told that there was a 95% chance I would start against Fulham, but I just thought, ‘why not 100%?’ Something didn’t feel right.
“Everyone wanted me to stay, but that’s when I decided to go. I wasn’t upset or emotional, I was proud I did it. When I arrived at Arsenal [in 2010], there were nine goalkeepers in front of me. Every year I had to prove myself, but I left as number one. That was my story done there.”