Bernd Leno is not a "top-four goalkeeper", according to Tony Adams, who believes Arsenal were wrong to sell Emiliano Martinez.
Mikel Arteta was forced to turn to Martinez post-lockdown after seeing Leno sidelined through injury, with the Argentine drafted in after eight years on the fringes of the action at Emirates Stadium.
Martinez was loaned out six times over the course of his eight-year spell with the Gunners, but grabbed the opportunity to prove himself with both hands when it finally presented itself in June.
The 28-year-old played a key role in Arsenal's strong finish to the 2019-20 season, which included an impressive run to FA Cup glory.
However, Arteta ultimately chose to stick with Leno as his number one ahead of his first full season in charge at the Emirates, and sanctioned Martinez's departure to Aston Villa for £20 million ($26m) on September 16.
Martinez has already recorded two clean sheets for Villa while saving a penalty as Dean Smith's side have made a perfect start to the new campaign, while Leno has conceded four goals in Arsenal's first three outings.
After watching the German goalkeeper ship three goals during Arsenal's 3-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield on Monday, Adams questioned Arteta's decision to get rid of Martinez.
The ex-Gunners captain says the Villa shot-stopper deserved a place in the Spaniard's starting XI after proving himself as a better all-round keeper than Leno, who he doesn't think is among the best in the business between the sticks.
"Martinez was incredible in their cup run. He was absolutely sensational," Adams told Astro SuperSport. "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."