Aston Villa star Emi Martinez reveals he ‘didn’t want to leave’ Independiente for Arsenal in 2010 but claims he made the £1.1m move because his family were ‘struggling financially’
- Emi Martinez says he ‘didn’t want to leave’ Independiente for Arsenal in 2010
- The goalkeeper made the move because his family were struggling financially
- He says he does not regret the decision but he wanted ‘play in Independiente’
Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez says he ‘didn’t want to leave’ Independiente for Arsenal in 2010.
Martinez admitted he made the decision to join the North London club for £1.1million to provide for his family as they were struggling financially at the time.
Nevertheless, the 29-year-old – who has into life at Villa Park well after his move from the Emirates last summer – says he does not ‘regret’ his decision to join the Gunners.
Villa keeper Emi Martinez says he ‘didn’t want to leave’ Independiente for Arsenal in 2010
Martinez was just 17 years old when he joined Arsenal from Independiente.
He played back-up to Bernd Leno, Petr Cech, David Ospina, Wojciech Szczesny, Lukasz Fabianski, Vito Mannone and Manuel Almunia for the majority of his career at the club.
He was also loaned out to Oxford, Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham, Wolves, Getafe and Reading after struggling to establish himself as a first team regular.
However, Martinez said he was ultimately thinking about his family when he decided to leave Argentina for Arsenal.
He told El Pais: ‘Arsenal came to look for me and Pepe Santoro [a coach at Independiente] told me that the train only passes once in a lifetime.
Martinez (above) admitted he made the decision to join the North London club for £1.1million to provide for his family as they were struggling financially at the time
Martinez recalls seeing his father cry about not being able to pay their household bills
‘My family and my agents thought the same. So, the decision was more for them than anything else.
I didn’t want to go. I did not regret it, but I wanted to play in Independiente. For a while, I thought: ‘If I stayed, in two years I will make my debut. [My family] lacked a little financially. I did it more for that than sports.’
Speaking to The Sun previously, Martinez, explained how his father had been crying over paying the house hold bills before his more to Arsenal.
He said: ‘My mum Susana and my brother Alejandro were crying when I was leaving for London and saying ‘Please don’t go’.
‘But I had also seen my dad Alberto crying late at night because he couldn’t afford to pay the bills.
‘I remembered the days that me and my brother ate and not my parents, so I knew exactly what they were going through.
Martinez made just 38 appearances for Arsenal during his 10-year stay at the Emirates
As a result, Martinez admitted he left for Aston Villa due to a lack of trust shown in him
‘At that time I was living in Buenos Aires and playing for Independiente and I would only see my family twice a month because they couldn’t afford the petrol to drive from their home in Mar Del Plata.
‘So when Arsenal offered to buy me, I had to be brave. I was 17-years-old and I said ‘yes’ for my parents.’
Having made just 38 appearances for Arsenal during his 10-year stay at the Emirates, Martinez admitted he left for Aston Villa due to a lack of trust shown in him.
Martinez kept 15 clean sheets in 38 games last year. Only Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson and Chelsea shot-stopper Edouard Mendy kept more.
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