Wright rues poor Arsenal decision to sell ‘amazing’ Premier League star for £20m – ‘disappointed’

Lewis Oldham
Wright misses ex-Arsenal man

Ian Wright has admitted that he could not understand why Arsenal opted to sell World Cup winner Emiliano Martinez to Aston Villa for just £20m.

The Argentina international joined Arsenal in 2010 and he had six separate loan spells elsewhere during his time at the Premier League giants.

Martinez only played 35 times for the Gunners before leaving at the start of the 2020/21 campaign. Most of his outings came during the 2019/20.

The goalkeeper made 23 appearances for the London outfit in the final few months of that season after Bernd Leno suffered an injury.

Martinez took this opportunity with both hands as he shone for Mikel Arteta’s side and helped them win the FA Cup.

The 30-year-old lost his place back to Leno that summer so he decided to move elsewhere. Aston Villa signed him from their rivals in a deal worth around £20m.

Martinez has been an ever-present for the Villans over the past three seasons as he has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League.

He was also vital for Argentina at last year’s World Cup as they won the competition for the third time.

Wright was “disappointed” to see Martinez leave and he thinks Arsenal let him go on the “cheap”.

“I can’t lie, I was disappointed to see you leave because in that moment, you were amazing,” Wright told Martinez on the Behind The Game series via the Premier League’s YouTube channel.

“It must be tough though Emi when the manager says he’s my number one. I remember I sent you a message when you were leaving Arsenal, and I thought Villa got you for very, very cheap.”

READ MORE: Ode to the loanee… Starring World Cup winner (and ex-Rotherham United star) Emi Martinez

Martinez’s Villa are one of the form sides in the Premier League at the moment. Ex-Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has done a great job since replacing Steven Gerrard.

The Spaniard has 13 wins, three draws and six losses from his 22 games in charge. This form has seen Villa climb up to fifth, but they have played more than the teams around them.

On Tuesday night, Tyrone Mings scored the only goal as the Villans beat Fulham 1-0 at Villa Park. Emery thinks the “next step” for his side is to be a “candidate in a European position”.

“We are now a candidate, we are fifth, but Tottenham is playing (on Thursday), Liverpool is one match less than us, Brighton three matches less than us.

“We are going to play against Liverpool, against Tottenham, against Brighton…could be key matches to really keep being candidates to get a European position.

“I think the dreams, they are here – OK, it is good I think for everybody, and we can share with our supporters. But I was speaking with the team – I like to play key matches. Like today.

“We are close to getting (a top-10 finish), and the next step is to try to be a candidate in a European position.”

READ MORE: Arsenal set for Premier League title glory as ‘secret omen comes to light’ but Liverpool are cursed