Arsenal legend Martin Keown has been left surprised and disappointed by his former club’s decision to sell goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez. Argentine Martinez looks set to leave the Gunners in this transfer window after he was left out of the squad for the opening day of the season against Fulham on Saturday. Aston Villa and Brighton are in the running to sign the 28-year-old.
Martinez played a starring role for Arsenal towards the end of last season.
A knee injury to Bernd Leno in the 2-1 loss to Brighton in June ruled the German out for the remainder of the campaign, giving Martinez the chance to prove himself.
He helped the Gunners win the FA Cup with wins over Manchester City and Chelsea before also getting the nod ahead of Leno in the Community Shield last month.
But reports claim manager Mikel Arteta was not able to guarantee Martinez the No 1 spot going forward which has left the goalkeeper wanting to leave.
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But speaking ahead of the trip to Fulham, former defender Keown was not happy with the club’s decision.
“Leno [playing] is a big surprise for me,” Keown said on BT Sport.
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“Martinez looking like he’s joining Aston Villa, really surprised that that’s happening.
“But I suppose change, Arteta’s winning trophies, so you really can’t complain.
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“But again, really disappointed to see him leave.”
Arteta was asked about the future of Martinez at his pre-match press conference on Friday.
But the Spaniard refused to comment on rumours surrounding the goalkeeper.
“Again, I cannot stop all the speculation that we have about all our players coming in and out,” Arteta said.
“I don’t want to comment on any individuals at the moment without having the right answers to give.”
Arteta also revealed that striker Alexandre Lacazette is happy at the club and wants to stay amid links with Atletico Madrid and Juventus.
“He is really happy here, he wants to keep improving and contributing to the team,” Arteta added.
“I know how good he is, the impact he is having. He knows about the competition he has with the front players, and again he needs to demand of himself to be the best striker at this football club, the same as the rest.
“He was very happy to hear that and the way he has been training and conducting himself has been excellent.”
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