Emiliano Martinez has detailed how Arsenal moss Mikel Arteta reacted when the goalkeeper said he wanted to leave the club.
The Spaniard has left north London after nine years, making a £20m move to Aston Villa in search of more first-team football.
Spending six of those seasons out on loan, the 28-year-old made 23 of his 38 Gunners appearances last season, replacing the injured Bernd Leno to help win the FA Cup final.
Martinez’s performances saw him earn high praise from manager Arteta, keeping coy on rumours he would leave the club.
But the goalkeeper has revealed how his boss reacted the moment the 28-year-old expressed a desire to leave the Emirates Stadium.
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Speaking to Arsenal ’s website, Martinez said: “I think I won three FA Cups, three Community Shields [before last season], but actually I wasn’t part of the team, I wasn’t getting the minutes that I needed.
“So I never felt that I won it. I was part of the team, but I never felt like it was mine. And I had to go on loan after loan after loan to come back and have a chance to become the keeper I am today.
“And when I won those trophies, it was ‘this is me’.
“Arsenal obviously they tried to retain me and obviously I spoke with Mikel, I spoke with the club.
“But they understood my decision and they respected it. And that’s Arsenal, you know. When you give everything for the club they will respect you.”
The Spaniard went on to send a message to the Gunners faithful.
Martinez added: “So I am grateful to be the player I am and the person I am. I came here as a young boy, single, from Argentina, from a poor country, a poor family.
“And I’m leaving with a wife, with a kid, and as a man. And everything is because of Arsenal as well.
“I just want to say to the fans that they should trust the process, they are doing really good work with Mikel and his staff and I wish them all the best.”
Martinez also sent a direct message to Arteta before his Villa transfer.
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