Mikel Arteta’s decision to sell Emiliano Martinez and stick with Bernd Leno has been called into question by Arsenal legend Tony Adams.
The Gunners opted to cash in on Argentine stopper Martinez over the summer when Aston Villa made a £20m offer.
The decision appeared harsh on the 28-year-old, who had waited patiently for a number of years to prove his worth to Arsenal.
Martinez had shone while covering for Leno at the back end of last season. Some observers even felt he’d done enough to claim the Arsenal gloves permanently.
In the end, Arteta admitted Martinez had been sacrificed to raise transfer funds.
“We have to find some balance between what we want to achieve with the squad and our finances,” Arteta said. “And it gets to a point where you have to make a decision whether to achieve certain things you have to sacrifice others.
“But time will tell whether we are weaker or not. Obviously the recruitment we are planning to do to try to get our second goalkeeper hopefully will bring us a really good performance level.”
That was telling when the Gunners spent just £1.5m on his successor.
However, the decision to sell Martinez and show faith to Leno has been slammed by the often-controversial Adams.
The legendary Gunners star believes Arteta’s choice was wrong. Furthermore, he claims Leno isn’t good good enough for a side with top-four aspirations.
“Martinez was incredible in their cup run. He was absolutely sensational,” Adams 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.”
It’s not the first time Adams has had a dig at Arteta. The Double-winning captain also had his say on the Spaniard’s treatment of Mesut Ozil.
Arsenal slammed for Aouar bid
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has revealed Arsenal’s latest bid for midfield target Houssem Aouar was rejected because it was ‘timid’.
The north London club have so far had two bids turned down for the 22-year-old, with the latest believed to be around £32million.
Lyon wanted around £55m for the France international at the start of the transfer window. However, they are said to have lowered that asking price and would now accept closer to £46m.
But with less than a week of the window left, there remains a significant difference in valuations between the two parties.
That has left Aulas less than impressed and the fiery Lyon chief has taken umbrage with the Gunners.