It's funny, isn't it? Funny how in such a short space of time, the opinions of a fanbase can shift so dramatically from practical ignorance to ardent disapproval.
Just a few months ago, Bernd Leno was the best goalkeeper Arsenal have had since arguably Jens Lehmann, he was never going to be replaced in the starting lineup, and was genuinely in the running to be Arsenal's Player of the Season.Here we are now, three months on since his season-ending injury, and the tables have turned. Emiliano Martinez is the best goalkeeper in the world and should never be usurped from Mikel Arteta's lineup.
It's funny, isn't it? Funny how Martinez coming on as a substitute for Leno on that sunny afternoon in Brighton was met with a fearful expectancy that he was going to drop a few clangers, cost the Gunners points as they bid for an unlikely Champions League berth and be generally....bad.
Looking at rumours swirling around now, fans are stringently opposed to the idea of selling the backup goalkeeper for a fee in the region of £20m. A miserly sum for a goalkeeper who has been nothing short of outstanding in his 13 matches since coming into the fold. Hands like glue, feet like a ballerina and dominant in his box, he looks every bit an exceptional keeper.
However, one and a half trophies in the bag coming off the back of two more classy displays have added sentiment to logic. That logic being that the Gunners need money from somewhere, and it's only going to be through player sales.
It's funny, isn't it? Funny how if Aston Villa - or anyone for that matter - had offered in and around the £20m mark for a second choice goalkeeper who had not impressed enough to challenge for a starting berth in the ten years prior he'd been at the club...well, you'd have bitten their hand off and taken the arm for afters.
That's a very reasonable amount of money given the circumstances, not just for a club in need of a cash injection.
There is an awful lot of recency bias that goes on in football. It can be framed both positively and negatively. For instance, 'you're only as good as your last game' is used to maintain focus and avoid easing up. On the other hand, 'X has played so bloody well that I've totally forgotten that Y exists', shuns certain players out of the limelight.
It's funny, isn't it? Funny, considering Leno saved his side's skin on more occasions than a human can feasibly remember last season. Save after save, clutch moment after clutch moment, he came up trumps in the Premier League. Not without fault, granted.
Martinez must be sold for the right price. Videos of him in tears upon lifting the FA Cup are, unequivocally, treasured memories. A player who'd worked so hard to get to this point in his career, securing a prize he never thought possible on the stage he never thought he'd reach. Just rewards for digging in and working to the bone.
With two fantastic goalkeepers in the squad, Arsenal mustn't get greedy. Having not had even just one for so long, beggars can't be choosers. In a side lacking any ready-made creative midfielder, selling a goalkeeper to help balance the squad out is the business-like and logical decision to make; regardless of how superb said stopper may have been.
It's funny, isn't it? Funny that longevity tends to be forgotten about unless an impact is made. In the ten years Martinez had played for Arsenal, his impact on the team was casual at best. Now, there is this outpouring of emotion off the back of 13 matches. He'll be missed, but life goes on.
Whether the deal goes ahead as it seems will be a matter of waiting to find out, but another stopper will need to be brought in to avoid the academy players being thrust straight into first-team action next season.
90min revealed that David Raya is on Arsenal's list but as long as quality can be signed, with the money made from Martinez's sale used to invest in the club's priority targets, then the question over the Argentine's future is an easy one to answer.
Source : 90min