Martin Keown thinks Arsenal may live to regret the decision to let Emiliano Martinez leave this summer following Bernd Leno’s difficult night against Rapid Vienna.
Leno gifted the Austrian side the lead in their Europa League opener when his sloppy pass allowed Taxiarchis Fountas to score an easy goal and open the scoring.
Although David Luiz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang efforts eventually gave the Gunners the win, Leno had a few more hairy moments, shanking a number of clearances and looking nervy in the Arsenal goal.
Martinez – who impressed towards the end of last season while Leno was injured – was sold to Aston Villa for £20m in September, and replaced by Icelandic ‘keeper Runar Alex Runarsson.
But speaking on BT Sport following the full-time whistle in Vienna, Keown stated his belief that his former club should have held onto Martinez.
“Having let Martinez go, who was magnificent, to see Leno making these types of mistakes, you wonder whether it was the right call,” Keown said.
“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 to a back five, the pictures then became more familiar to the players and they found a way to win this match.”
Leno will be under-pressure to put in a better performance when Arsenal take on Leicester City in the Premier League on Sunday.
Martinez, meanwhile, is shining at Villa, and has kept three clean sheets in his opening four games for the club.
It remains to be seen when we will see Runarsson make an appearance for the first time, with manager Mikel Arteta clearly not willing to risk him yet even in cup competitions.
Sign up to the Mirror Football email here for the latest news and transfer gossip