Martinez says emotional farewell to Arsenal fans ahead of Aston Villa move, The Argentine goalkeeper is expected to move to Villa Park on a four-year contract after Dean Smith’s side had a £16m bid plus add ons accepted by the Gunners.
And Martinez has now said his goodbyes after enjoying his biggest highs at Arsenal in his last few months, playing an instrumental role in the club’s FA Cup triumph last season and the Community Shield after deputising for the injured Bernd Leno.
There were plenty of calls from Arsenal fans to make him the club’s No 1 thanks to his fine form but he is now on the move as he looks for guaranteed game time, and he is set to be replaced by Iceland goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson.
And taking to Instagram on Tuesday night, Martinez said an emotional farewell to Arsenal supporters.
In a message captioned ‘Thank you Arsenal’, Martinez said in an Instagram video: ‘For me, I could not be happier to leave through the front door with the Arsenal fanbase supporting me and the club supporting me.
‘I had 11 years at the club, and even if it was a hard road for me, and I suffered through my time at Arsenal, today I am happy and I tried to show young goalies how work pays off.
When you work hard, you are not going to be happy the whole time, you are going to have frustration, bad times in life.
‘They all understood at Arsenal and they support me for my decision. The Arsenal fanbase were always there for me, I felt their love.
‘Even when Bernd got injured this season, I received loads of messages like “we trust in you,” “you are our goalie”. That made me confident, made me win games and made me the keeper I am today.
‘They understood my story and they love the way I worked in the club. I am so glad to be part of the Arsenal family for 11 years.’
Martinez moved to north London from Independiente in 2010 but was loaned out six times as he struggled for game time.
However, he finally broke into the first team last season under Mikel Arteta and his displays caught the eye of Villa.
But speaking following Villa’s 3-1 Carabao Cup victory over Burton Albion on Tuesday night, manager Dean Smith remained very coy.
After the final whistle, Smith said: ‘He’s still an Arsenal player, so he’s not one I can discuss at the moment.’