Arsenal legend Tony Adams has criticised Mikel Arteta’s decision to sell Emiliano Martinez this summer and does not believe Bernd Leno is good enough for a top-four chasing team.
Martinez performed superbly after usual number one Leno got injured at the end of last season, playing a starring role in the Gunners’ FA Cup success, but Arteta opted to restore the German between the sticks for the new season.
Having been desperate to continue playing regularly, Arsenal allowed Martinez to leave and accepted a £20million offer from Aston Villa for the keeper.
He has since kept two clean sheets in his first two matches of the season, also saving a penalty, and Adams feels the club made a mistake letting him go, questioning Arteta’s decision over the number one spot.
‘Martinez was incredible in their cup run. He was absolutely sensational,’ the former Arsenal captain told Astro SuperSport on Monday night.
‘And I do like big ones and what Leno does struggle with, for me, is crosses and stuff.
‘But it isn’t about me. Arteta’s gone, “No, Leno is my number one, I like him” and he’s put all his faith in him.
‘But I don’t believe that he’s a top-four goalkeeper, for me.
‘Martinez, it was coincidence, everything fell into place for Arsenal in the cup competition last year, it was like it was written in the stars.
‘This goalkeeper comes in – been at the club for 10 years and not played 10 games – and he stops everything! He was a man possessed, he was absolutely incredible.
‘And for me he was the number one. Now you’ve made the opportunity, you’ve got experience, go okay, yep.
‘But Arteta’s the man and he’s chosen a different goalkeeper.’
Leno largely played well against Liverpool despite conceding three times as Arsenal lost 3-1, making a number of crucial saves to keep his side in the contest for much of the match.