Emi Martinez left Arsenal this week to join Aston Villa in a £20m deal.
His departure came after conversations with Mikel Arteta, in which the boss made it clear to him and Bernd Leno that he viewed them both on the same level and wanted them to fight it out for the top spot.
However, the package on offer from Villa was something the club had to consider from a financial perspective, and that it was something Emi wanted himself to fulfill his own ambitions resulted in his eleven year spell in North London coming to an end.
Arteta was asked what it was that made him choose Leno as number one, and replied, “I was very clear with both of them that it wasn’t a #1 and a #2 and that they had to compete for the place like any other position in the team.
“To be fair, Bernd was superb before he got injured at Brighton and Emi was absolutely excellent with all of the games that he played and how much he helped us as well with winning the trophies.
“But at the end of the day, that created a big competition, some big expectations from both of them and we had to deal with that. I had many discussions with him and I think we all finished in really good terms.
“We were really open, trying to have those discussions and at the end, Emi had a really good offer, really well-suited to what he wants to achieve long-term and short-term and we allowed him to leave the club.”
The final aspect of the deal – receiving £20m for a player who a few months ago would have generated a fraction of that – was something Arteta had to consider in the context of players we’ve brought in and further additions to the squad.
“At the end of the day we have to find some balance between what we want to achieve with our squad and our finances,” he said.
“It gets to the point where if you want to achieve certain things, you need to sacrifice others.
“Time will tell whether we are weaker or not and obviously the recruitment we are planning to do to try and get our second goalkeeper, they will hopefully bring a really good performance level.
“We can see Emi being successful at Villa and we are all happy for him.”
The arrival of Runar Alex Runarsson is imminent according to the Arsenal boss, but he had to be registered by 12 noon today to be eligible for tomorrow’s game, so Matt Macey will deputise for Leno against the Hammers.