عالمية عالمية

Martin Keown questions Arsenal summer transfer decision after Europa League win

Martin Keown has questioned Arsenal ‘s decision to sell Emiliano Martinez to Aston Villa following Bernd Leno’s Europa League horror show against Rapid Wien.

The Gunners ran out 2-1 winners over the Austrians on Thursday night, but they were made to work hard for their victory.

Mikel Arteta’s troops went 1-0 down in the 51st minute when Ercan Kara cut out a loose attempt of a pass from Leno and Taxiarchis Fountas punished the German from close range.

Leno almost handed the home side another a two-goal lead just before the hour mark when his clearance cannoned off David Luiz into the path of Fountas, whose effort from distance went wide.

Bernd Leno had a game to forget in Arsenal’s Europa League clash with Rapid Wien

Goals from Luiz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang spared the Premier League giants’ blushes, in particular Leno’s.

And after seeing the former Bayer Leverkusen stopper turn in a less than impressive display, Keown can’t help but wonder if Arteta made the right call by accepting Villa’s £20million bid for Martinez.

“Having let Martinez go, who was magnificent, so to see Leno making these types of mistakes, you wonder whether it was the right call,” the former Arsenal defender said during an appearance on BT Sport.

  • 1893: Aston Villa kicked off the big money transfers with tier £100 cheque to land Willie Groves from West Bromwich Albion.
  • 1904: Alf Commons moved from Sunderland to Middlesbrough for £1,000 and sparked a national outrage.
  • 1928: Arsenal bought David Jack from Bolton Wanderers for £10,890
  • 1957: John Charles moves from Leeds to Juventus shatters the transfer record at £65,000
  • 1961: Denis Law joins Manchester United from Torino for £115,000
  • 1970: Martin Peters joins Tottenham from West Ham for £200,000
  • 1977: Kevin Keegan goes from Liverpool to Hamburg for £500,000
  • 1979: Trevor Francis becomes first £1m player with switch from Birmingham to Nottingham Forest.
  • 1996: Alan Shearer goes from Blackburn to Newcastle for £15m
  • 2013: Gareth Bale switches from Tottenham to Real Madrid for £86m

“It was a difficult night for Leno. The team had their backs to the wall but showed very good character to get back into it. A couple of changes were made.

“I thought when they changed it actually and went back to a five, the pictures then became more familiar to the players and they found a way to win this match.”

Arteta wasn’t thrilled with the manner in which his team went behind but was happy with their reaction to conceding.

“We knew it was going to be a difficult match,” the Spaniard said. “We made it harder in the beginning with the goal we conceded.

“I really like the reaction,” the Spaniard said. “The second half we understood much better the spaces we have to attack.

“In general we scored two good goals, the second was fantastic. We are delighted to start with victory.”

Arsenal will be back in action on Sunday evening, welcoming Leicester City to the Emirates Stadium.

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