Emi Martinez has reportedly agreed a four-year deal to join Aston Villa that will see Arsenal pocket £16m plus add-ons.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 15: Emiliano Martinez of Arsenal warms up ahead of the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at Emirates Stadium on July 15, 2020 in London, England.(Photo by Paul Childs/Pool via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 15: Emiliano Martinez of Arsenal warms up ahead of the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at Emirates Stadium on July 15, 2020 in London, England.(Photo by Paul Childs/Pool via Getty Images)

After being left out of the Arsenal squad for their game against Fulham, it was reported that Emi Martinez had undergone a medical at Aston Villa ahead of a permanent move before the window closes.

Now, it is being claimed he has agreed a four-year deal after being assured he will be their number one keeper with Tom Heaton overcoming a knee injury.

The Mail also report that Mikel Arteta told Martinez that, not only would Bernd Leno remain number one, he would not be rotating keepers in cup competitions as is the tendency these days.

As a result, despite being closer than ever to becoming Arsenal’s number one for the first time in 10 years, Martinez has opted to leave than to try and change Arteta’s mind.

Perhaps that’s why he was never able to make it as number one at Arsenal in the first place, something I ponder at more length here.

Emi Martinez’s agent Lucas Martinez Quarta explains why leaving Arsenal is the most likely scenario as reports emerge Martinez has had a medical and will start for Villa in their first Premier League game.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 12: Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur attempts to lob Emiliano Martinez of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on July 12, 2020 in London, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur attempts to lob Emiliano Martinez on July 12, 2020. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Based on all the reports in the last day or so, Emi Martinez is on the verge of leaving Arsenal. In addition to everything else, the fact he wasn’t in the squad to face Fulham on Saturday strongly suggests his future lies elsewhere.

The player’s agent admits this is now the most likely option. He explained to the Argentinian media why the 28-year-old is planning to leave. “The most likely scenario is that Emi Martinez leaves Arsenal because he wants to play,” the agent told TyC Sports (via Metro).

“He dreams of being the starting goalkeeper for the national team and he is willing to leave his home [at Arsenal] for the worthy cause of being Argentina’s number one.”

After Arsenal demolished Fulham in the Premier League opener, it was then reported that Martinez was having/had had a medical with West Ham and was expected to play for them in their first league game of the season against Sheffield United.

Villa were scheduled to play Manchester City in Matchweek 1 but that game was postponed due to City’s Champions League opener. They will play Burton on 15 September in the EFL Cup and then Sheffield United on 21 September at Villa Park.

It’s certainly true that Martinez struggled to get national team chances during his time with Arsenal. He only made the squad a few times – although two of those were last season. He’s still yet to make his debut for his country at senior level.

Starting for Arsenal would seemingly be the easiest way to stay on the national team radar. But Martinez clearly wants game-time assurances Mikel Arteta just isn’t going to give him. Arteta wants his goalkeepers to compete for a spot. At a club like Arsenal, few get the sort of assurances Martinez is looking.

The result is that Martinez is moving onto somewhere he won’t have to fight so hard for starts and that’s not exactly what we want at Arsenal, is it?