I got brutal message from Unai Emery straight away at Arsenal - he just said sorry mate

Emi Martinez.
-Credit: (Image: YouTube)

Emiliano Martinez has opened up about his tough departure from Arsenal, detailing how former boss Unai Emery played a pivotal role in his exit.

The Argentine shot-stopper, who lifted the World Cup trophy, joined Ben Foster on the 'Fozcast' to delve into his journey and the moment he knew his time at Arsenal was up under Emery's management.

Martinez reflected on the mixed signals he received from Arsene Wenger, the "legend" of Arsenal, who treated him like a number one in words but not in contract terms, as he remained third choice.

On Foster's podcast, Martinez recounted: "So Arsene Wenger, the legend, was standing in front of you, you're going to be my number one [but] he was signing me, contract and money wise, like a number two and I was number three."

He then described the crushing blow delivered by Emery: "[He said] 'Emi look, I give you this because I'm thinking you're going to be my number one'. When he left, I was 23, 24 and then I went on loan to Getafe where I didn't play and then Unai Emery came in and was like sorry mate but you played for Rotherham, Sheffield Wednesday, you know, teams that he didn't even know."

Despite the setbacks, Martinez is now thriving at Aston Villa under Emery, crediting his resurgence to overcoming the "obstacles and blocks" that once hindered him. He played an instrumental role in Villa sealing a surprise Champions League qualification spot in the season just gone.

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The former Arsenal shot-stopper also opened up about the time he felt blindsided by Wenger and the club following a loan speall at Wolves, reports the Mirror.

Martinez recalled: "I remember when I was good and I had a loan from Wolves, Wolves offered 10 million to buy me - that was long term and it was big money. I thought, you know, I was thinking about it but they were like no, no stay - then they signed Petr Cech - cheers! ".

He added: "Cech's like one of the best ever goalies in the Premier League so how can I [compete]? It was a massive climb to do it again you know, so I always had blocks in the way."

After another loan spell, this time with Reading, Martinez eventually secured a transfer to Aston Villa in September 2020.

Since moving, Martinez has not only excelled at club level but also on the international stage, becoming a World Cup winner with Argentina in 2022, alongside stars such as Lionel Messi, Alexis Mac Allister, and Lisandro Martinez, cementing his status as one of the top goalkeepers in the game.