Tottenham Hotspur are being linked with a move for Emi Martinez and, unlike most former Arsenal players who wouldn’t even consider it, Martinez is just the type of man to do it just to stick it to Arsenal.

DOHA, QATAR: Emi Martinez of Argentina speaks during the Argentina Press Conference at the Main Media Center on December 17, 2022. (Photo by Mohamed Farag/Getty Images)
DOHA, QATAR: Emi Martinez of Argentina speaks during the Argentina Press Conference at the Main Media Center on December 17, 2022. (Photo by Mohamed Farag/Getty Images)

Emi Martinez could have been an Arsenal legend but, instead, he chose the path of shoulder chips with a healthy splash of bitterness.

Martinez has been angling for an exit from Aston Villa ever since the World Cup with PSG seemingly the club he has his eye on the most.

That doesn’t mean he will get the move, no matter how much he sucks up to Kylian Mbappe, and could well end up with a less-preferred option, namely, Tottenham.

Should he sign for Spurs, many of their fans will no doubt point to that as being the reason Arsenal fans no longer like him, so let’s just clear this up before that even happens.

Most Arsenal fans can’t stand Emi Martinez.

Since Martinez left for Aston Villa in 2020 he hasn’t shut up about Arsenal, despite saying moving to Villa was a step up. He’s repeated that line a few times.

He followed that up in October, saying that he left because he was only ‘95%’ sure to start against Fulham in the first game of that season. By March, he had changed it to 75%, and began to criticise Arsenal, saying they didn’t deserve him.

He also advised young players not to listen to Arsene Wenger.

Comments in April of 2021 suggested he had left Arsenal to escape the constant battle for the number one spot, revealing his desire to ‘change the scene after 10 years at the club.’

This mentality may have been the reason he struggled to secure the position for a longer period.

He’s even rewrote why he cried at the end of the cup final.

“Yes, [I was crying but] not for having won a final, but for having overcome my frustrations at a professional level at Arsenal. They were many years of suffering and having a bad time for not having my chance,” Martinez said.

“Not because I didn’t deserve it, but because they didn’t give it to me. At that moment all the bad Sundays that I have spent when I was not summoned at the club came to me, or I went on loan to places I did not want to go because I needed games.

“They never sent me on loan to get me out, but to improve me. That’s why they kept me at the club for so long, because they saw something in me. When I won the cup, I took out the anger that I had inside.

“I am an emotional boy and everything I do I do for my family and that is why those tears came to my eyes.”

In an interview with Argentinean news outlet TyC Sports in August 2021, Emiliano Martinez also made the following comments:

“I didn’t want to be a second-choice goalkeeper anymore. I knew that I was good enough to be a first-choice goalkeeper, and I needed to leave Arsenal to prove that.

“Arsenal never gave me the opportunity to be the first-choice goalkeeper. Every time I played well, they would bring in a new goalkeeper and I would be back on the bench.

“When I left Arsenal, I had a lot of options. But Aston Villa showed me that they really wanted me, and that was important for me.

“I always felt like I was the backup goalkeeper at Arsenal, even when I was playing well. They never made me feel important, and that was frustrating.

“I’m happy at Aston Villa now. I feel like I’m an important player for the team, and that’s all I ever wanted.”

Speaking before the 19/20 season, after a summer when Arsenal had reportedly tried to sell him, Martinez told he’d informed Unai Emery, “‘If you’re going to give me the opportunity to become No 1, I will stay. Otherwise, I have 13 or 14 clubs that want me to sign for them’. It was a big decision for me and my family, and we chose what was best for my career. Arsenal is the best club for me.

“You only get one career, so I have to do what’s best, and I’m lucky because my wife and my kid will follow me everywhere I go. There were offers but when I signed for Arsenal, it was to one day become No 1 for this club. It’s my dream club and after my season on loan at Reading, I feel like I showed everyone how good I am.

“I said to my family, ‘If Arsenal don’t trust me, then it’s time to move on’ but Arsenal have shown lots of faith in me and I trust the club, I trust the manager and I believe we’re going to have a great, great season.”

How strange, then, that after 10 years, with his heart’s desire finally within reach, he’d walk out the front door for a club that hasn’t won a trophy in 40 years.

Given that, a move to Tottenham would be a step up for Martinez. They’ve only been waiting 15.