Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has sensationally claimed that his move from Arsenal allowed him to make a ‘step up’ in his career.
The 28-year-old impressed during his brief stint as the first-choice stopper at the Emirates during Bernd Leno’s injury lay-off, and made the £20million switch this summer to chase his dream of regular first-team action.
Martinez has impressed during his handful of games for Villa and even believes that the switch has helped him take another giant leap forward.
Emiliano Martinez has claimed that his move to Aston Villa from Arsenal has been a ‘step up’
Martinez impressed during his brief stint as Arsenal’s No 1 and won two trophies before leaving
Having helped Arsenal win the FA Cup last season, and the Community Shield at the start of this current campaign, Martinez attracted plenty of attention from clubs across Europe.
The Argentina-hopeful made his demand to become an undisputed No 1 clear and saved a penalty on his debut after making the move to the Midlands.
He told Sky Sports: ‘I’m in the best shape of my career and when I didn’t have the security of that game time, I wasn’t sure about staying. I’m fighting to be Argentina’s number one, that’s my dream.
Martinez has kept two clean sheets for Villa after his move and saved a penalty on his debut
‘Aston Villa is a massive club, I had no doubts over coming here. Everyone thinks it’s a step down going from Arsenal to Villa, but I actually think it’s a step up in my career.’
Martinez was forced to bide his time for almost a decade before finally becoming a key component in Arsenal’s first-team set-up.
The confident goalkeeper joined the club in 2010 and had been shipped out on six different loan spells.
‘People don’t realise how much I’d been fighting to get on the bench. I had nine goalkeepers in front of me,’ he added. ‘Once on the bench, I wanted to be No 1. Once I got the No 1 shirt, and I wasn’t sure I was going to keep it, I said I’ll go and be the No 1.
The 28-year-old (pictured at Reading) was shipped out on loan six times across the decade
Martinez wanted to become an undisputed No 1 and has performed superbly under Dean Smith
‘My ambition was always trying to be No 1 at Arsenal, coming through their academy was not easy. People that talk outside of football know nothing about football.’
Having kept two clean sheets in his first two appearances between the sticks for Villa, Martinez’s move has paid dividends so far.
He will be tasked with shutting out champions Liverpool on Sunday, however, to preserve his unblemished record.
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