ARTETA RESPONDS TO MARTİNEZ AND MAİTLAND-NİLES EXİT RUMOURS



Mikel Arteta refused to reveal whether Arsenal had received any bids for Emiliano Martinez following the goalkeeper’s starring role in Arsenal’s Community Shield success against Liverpool on Saturday.

Martinez, who impressed during the final 12 games of last season having replaced the injured Bernd Leno, was brought into the side to face the champions at Wembley and made two excellent saves to deny Sadio Mane as the Gunners beat Jurgen Klopp’s side 5-4 on penalties following a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes.

The 27-year-old has been heavily linked with a move away in recent days, with Aston Villa one of several sides believed to be showing an interest.

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But, speaking after his side’s victory at Wembley, Arteta would not be drawn on what he described as “speculation.”

“Emi has shown in the last few months what he is able to do for this football club,” sad Arsenal’s head coach. “I am convinced that he has the level to play for us consistently at that level.

“He showed that today in a final. But I cannot stop the speculation. That is something I cannot stop and what other people can write about us.”

When asked whether any firm bids had arrived for Martinez, Arteta added: “I am not going to discuss publicly what is happening with other players.”

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Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who is also being linked with a move away, was another player who impressed during the victory against Liverpool.

The Gunners’ academy product was named man-of-the-match having lined up on the left side of Arsenal’s 3-4-3 formation against the champions and has since been called up by England for the upcoming Nations League games against Iceland and Denmark.

Maitland-Niles, who is wanted by Wolves, told BT Sport “I’m an Arsenal player until I’m told otherwise” when quizzed about his future immediately after the full-time whistle.

And Arteta said his decision to pick the 24-year-old was another indication of the trust he now has in him.

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“He has to be able to convince me every day in training that he can compete at this level,” said the Spaniard. “Not once every three months but every three days. The way he is playing at the moment is showing me that he can do it.

“His mentality and the way he is going about every single detail about the preparation of a football game is much better than before. I am delighted and very happy for him because he is really changing a lot of things around him to become the player he can be.

“The best way to show a player how his manager thinks about him, is to give him the chance to play or not. And today in a final again he started. He played the 90 minutes, like he did against City in the semi-final and Chelsea as well in the final.”

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ARTETA RESPONDS TO MARTİNEZ AND MAİTLAND-NİLES EXİT RUMOURS


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