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Emiliano Martinez confirms Arsenal exit with emotional message to club and fans

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Emiliano Martinez is moving on from Arsenal (Picture: Getty Images)

Emiliano Martinez has sent an emotional message to Arsenal fans and the club as he prepares to leave after a decade in north London.

The Argentine goalkeeper is expected to join Aston Villa in a £20m move, despite starring for the Gunners in their run to the FA Cup final last season and as they won the Community Shield against Liverpool last month.

Martinez has been at the club since 2010 and has largely been an understudy for various other goalkeepers, but finally got his chance to shine after Bernd Leno was injured at the back end of last season.

The 28-year-old feels that all his hard work paid off, with his chance to play and star in the first team, and now it is time to move on with Leno returning and his place under threat again.

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‘I always had that feeling that I would have my chance at Arsenal,’ Martinez said in an Instagram video. ‘Season after season I was always trying to come back to the club I love [from loan] to try and have my chance.

‘I waited, I worked past the frustration because football is not always easy, like everyone thinks.

‘I’m proud to overcome my frustration and show the Arsenal fanbase what they missed 10 years ago, because I knew I could do the same thing years before.

‘I truly believe that keepers go at different times and on different paths. For me, it was hard, but I knew there was light at the end of the tunnel.’

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Martinez is thrilled with the response he has had from the Arsenal fans and thanked them for their support.

‘With my family I decided, 11 years at the club, 10 years worked so hard, I leave through the front door today,’ said the stopper.

‘For me I could not be happier to leave through the front door with the Arsenal fanbase supporting me and the club.

‘I’m very grateful for the 11 years at Arsenal, even if it was a hard road for me.

‘Today I’m happy and I tried to show all the young goalies that hard work pays off.

‘When you work hard you’re not going to be happy the whole time, there’s going to be frustrations and bad times, but you have to work past that and you’re going to see the light.

Martinez was emotional after winning the FA Cup (Picture: Getty Images)

‘That’s what I saw when I won the FA Cup and the Community Shield, I saw blue sky and it is the right time for me to step up.

‘They all understood at Arsenal and they support my decision. The Arsenal fanbase were always there for me, I felt the love.

‘Even when Bernd got injured I was receiving loads of messages saying, “Emi we trust you. You are our goalie. We know you’re going to do so well.”

‘That made me confident, made me win games, made me the keeper I am today.

‘They understood my story, they loved the way I worked hard in the club and I’m so grateful to be part of the Arsenal family for 11 years.’

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Martinez is expected to be confirmed as an Aston Villa player in the very near future.

MORE: Arsenal fought off ‘two major offers’ to convince Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to sign new contract

MORE: Arsenal chief Mikel Arteta plots two transfers after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang signs new deal

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