Arsenal fear they chose to offload the wrong goalkeeper by selling Emiliano Martinez to Aston Villa, Football Insider has learned.
Mikel Arteta was forced to choose between letting Martinez, 28, or Bernd Leno, 29, go last summer as the Gunners looked to recoup some cash to cut costs and reshape their squad.
An Arsenal source has told Football Insider that the club’s coaches believe Arteta may have blundered by letting the wrong keeper go.
The manager put his faith in Leno, who had been the starting goalkeeper for majority of his first two seasons at the club and that has extended into his third campaign.
The 2018 capture from Bayer Leverkusen has now made 102 Arsenal appearances, including 26 league starts among his 34 matches this term.
He has conceded 33 goals and kept 11 clean sheets this campaign, while Martinez has conceded 27 goals from his 26 Villa league games with 14 clean sheets.
The records are broadly similar.
But Martinez’s performances have been undeniably better, something privately conceded behind closed doors at London Colney.
The Argentine has produced some outstanding performances, commanded his area superbly and demonstrated great composure with the ball at his feet.
By contrast, Leno has been more erratic and his distribution certainly does not compare with that of his former number.
Football Insider revealed last week an Arsenal coach is set to leave after Leno complained about Spaniard behind the scenes.
Martinez stepped in to replace Leno when he got injured last June and started the last eight Arsenal Premier League matches of 2019-20 as well as playing a key role in the team’s FA Cup triumph.
But the writing was on the wall for the Argentine when he was omitted from the Arsenal side that began their Premier League campaign with an emphatic 3-0 win at Fulham.