In an exclusive interview with Football FanCast, former Aston Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie has suggested that Arsenal should have kept goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.
Martinez, who left Arsenal to join Villa in the last summer transfer window for regular playing time, has been in superb form this season.
In the current Premier League campaign, the 28-year-old has kept 14 clean sheets, a number only bettered by Manchester City’s Ederson.
Last term, following a serious injury to Bernd Leno, Martinez was given an opportunity between the sticks at the Emirates and absolutely delivered. He helped inspire Arsenal to their 14th FA Cup trophy after the Gunners managed to beat London rivals Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley, really staking a claim for a more long-term role.
In the end, however, it was not enough to convince Mikel Arteta, who allowed Martinez to leave the club, a decision Hendrie has questioned.
“I feel that Martinez should have stayed at Arsenal for how he performed,” the ex-Villa star told FFC.
“I just felt that it was in his divine right to be given a chance, and you could see why he wasn’t going to sit around and have all that high talk of how well he’s done and not push on and build on that. I’ve got total respect for him.
“But, listen, managers make their own minds up at times and, you know, sometimes it works, sometimes it goes against you.”
Arsenal’s current No.1 Leno will next be in action when the north London club take on Liverpool after the international break.