A pair of updates surrounding the situation between the posts at Arsenal have surfaced online on Tuesday evening.
Martinez says goodbye
The first relates to current Gunners shot-stopper Emiliano Martinez.
Recent weeks have of course seen reports mount that Argentine Martinez’s long-standing stint at the Emirates is inching towards a conclusion.
The 28-year-old proved one of the talking points of English football over the course of last season’s run-in, after finally being handed a prolonged opportunity to showcase his talents.
A nasty injury picked up by Bernd Leno saw Martinez cast into the spotlight for Mikel Arteta’s men, following the Premier League’s return in June.
And to say that he went on to grasp this chance with both hands would be putting it lightly. Martinez produced a string of legitimately top-class performances, playing a key role in both Arsenal’s FA Cup and Community Shield triumphs.
This, in turn, saw Mikel Arteta and co. left with quite the dilemma: Return the starting gloves to first-choice Leno, or bench the German, if favour of allowing Martinez to continue to prove his worth.
With the Gunners desperate for cash to strengthen other areas of the club’s squad, though, they eventually opted for the former.
As confirmed by a host of outlets over the last 48 hours, Martinez’s departure is set to be made official at any moment, with the former Reading loanee on the verge of a move to Aston Villa:
#afc Emi Martinez’s £20m move to Aston Villa almost done. Brighton interest was there, but Villa pitch won him over. Naturally wanted to stay at Arsenal after 10 years there, but can’t turn down being a No1 at PL club.
— Simon Collings (@sr_collings) September 14, 2020
And, though neither club has yet confirmed the news, Martinez himself has this evening bid farewell to Arsenal.
In a lengthy Instagram post a short time ago, the shot-stopper opened up on his pride at finally managing to contribute to the success of his beloved club, before thanking the Gunners’ fanbase for their faith in his talents:
‘I always had that feeling that I would have my chance here at Arsenal, that season after season I was always trying to come back to the club I love to have my chance.’
‘I done it, I waited, I overcome the frustration because football is not always easy like everyone things.’
‘With my family at my side, after 11 years at the club, they say ‘you worked for 10 years so hard, you leave through the front door today’.
‘For me, I could not be happier to leave through the front door with the Arsenal fanbase supporting me and the club supporting me.’
‘They all understood at Arsenal and they support me for my decision. The Arsenal fanbase were always there for me, I felt their love.’
‘Even when Bernd got injured this season, I received loads of messages like ‘we trust in you,’ ‘you are our goalie’. That made me confident, made me win games and made me the keeper I am today.’
‘They understood my story and they love the way I worked in the club. I am so glad to be part of the Arsenal family for 11 years.’
View this post on Instagram
In other Gunners-related news on Tuesday, meanwhile, the man set to replace Martinez at the Emirates has also been revealed.
As per a growing number of reports, Icelandic international Runar Alex Runarsson is just details away from a move to north London.
The Dijon man, who has two years remaining on his current deal with the French outfit, is expected to set Arsenal back around £1.5 million, with an announcement set to swiftly follow that of Martinez’s Villa switch:
#afc Arsenal stepping up move for Runarsson as Martinez deal basically done. Understand talks well underway with Dijon over move, which would be about £1.5m. Player ready to join and become club’s new No2.
— Simon Collings (@sr_collings) September 15, 2020
This article was edited by Josh Barker.
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