Home Sport Mikel Arteta was wrong to sell Emiliano Martinez, claims Tony Adams

Mikel Arteta was wrong to sell Emiliano Martinez, claims Tony Adams

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Emiliano Martinez joined Aston Villa in a £20m deal (Picture: Getty)

Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams believes Mikel Arteta made a mistake in allowing Emiliano Martinez to join Aston Villa this summer.

The Argentine joined Dean Smith’s side for a fee of around £20million after talks with Arteta at the end of last season.

After years on the periphery, Martinez finally got his chance towards the end of the previous campaign when Bernd Leno sustained a serious knee injury.

The German’s absence was met with dread by Arsenal’s fanbase but Martinez stepped up admirably and he was a pivotal figure as the Gunners lifted the FA Cup.

However, Martinez’s hopes of keeping his spot were dashed after Arteta told him Leno would remain his first choice once he regained fitness.

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Adams believes that was a mistake and says the Gunners will remain a ‘cup side’ until they move to a back four and add more ‘technical quality’ to the squad.

Adams was critical of the decision to sell Martinez (Picture: DAZN)

‘We’re still not beating those big teams, are we?’ Adams told Premier League Productions after the Gunners’ defeat to Manchester City on Saturday.

‘It’s been prevalent in the last few years that we can only go so far. Listen I’m a massive Arteta fan – he’s got the best out of those players.

‘I think the recruitment has been very poor in the last few years to be honest with you. He’s doing a miracle job with them by putting an FA Cup on the sideboard last season.

‘I was hoping and praying at the start of the season. One with the goalkeeper situation which I disagreed with him; I thought we should have kept Martinez and two with the back four. I think after his time last season playing 3-4-3 he would have gone back to 4-3-3 go back into a back four and train the back four, work with them.

‘At the moment he’s getting everyone behind the ball, they’re buying into the style he’s enthusiastic and stuff but you can only take that team so far, they’re a cup team for me.

‘Very similar to the cup team of 1992/93 that I played in that won the ‘double cup’ and then the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1994 but we were miles off the title. We couldn’t sustain it over the course of the season. We couldn’t go to Manchester United and turn them over. We didn’t have the squad, the technical ability to compete at the top and he [Arteta] hasn’t.’

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