In the post-match press conference following Arsenal’s 4-1 defeat to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup, Mikel Arteta was quizzed on the club’s decision to sell Emiliano Martinez this summer.
Hayters’ Nick Callow asked whether the under-fire Arsenal boss felt any ‘regret’ from the decision, due to replacement Runar Alex Runarsson’s costly mistake that gifted Riyad Mahrez a goal from a free-kick.
In the 54th minute of the tie, Runarsson – who was making his fifth appearance for the Gunners – couldn’t get a strong hand to the ball despite it seemingly being fired straight at him.
Arsenal recruited the Icelandic ace for just over £1m this summer, with the 25-year-old replacing Martinez as the second-choice stopper, with the long-serving Gunners ace sold to Aston Villa for £20m.
Runarsson’s costly error shifted the tide of the tie, which was already on the slide after Gabriel Martinelli’s injury, leaving the Gunners to lose 4-1 after an embarrassing second-half.
Mikel Arteta insisted ‘there’s no point in having any regrets’ regarding Emi Martinez’s sale after replacement Runarsson’s struggles in Arsenal’s defeat to Manchester City… pic.twitter.com/GFjVXgIWeD
— CaughtOffside (@caughtoffside) December 22, 2020
“Emi had a really good few months last season, he really helped us, obviously when our keeper makes an error these things are going to come up.”
Whilst Runarsson struggled this evening, with his woes even leaving Mahrez ‘surprised’ after he didn’t catch the ball ‘properly’, Martinez has starred for Villa this season.
Martinez has kept seven clean sheets for the Villains this term, six of which coming in victories as the Midlands outfit sit 9th in the Premier League table with two games in hand over all the sides ahead of them – barring the two Manchester outfits who hold a game in hand each.
Martinez showed that he was talented enough to be a quality keeper with his fine performances after Bernd Leno was injured in the second game of the restart to close out the season.
Ultimately, the cash-strapped Gunners decided to bank a hefty fee of the ace, but they may rue that short-term gain if they lose Leno to injury anytime soon after Runarsson’s woes on the big stage tonight.