The Argentine keeper was sold to Aston Villa for £20m with the Gunners in the market for midfielders Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar.
Mikel Arteta admits that the decision to sell Emiliano Martinez was a ‘sacrifice’ Arsenal made to try and help them land their top transfer targets between now and the end of the summer window on October 5.
The Gunners allowed Martinez to join Aston Villa this week in a £20 million ($26m) deal, ending the Argentine goalkeeper’s decade-long stay at the club.
The 28-year-old was determined to make the move to the Midlands, with Villa having given him assurances about being first choice this season, but Arsenal were reluctant to let him go with a replacement yet to arrive.
But, speaking ahead of Saturday’s game against West Ham, Arteta accepted that selling Martinez was a ’sacrifice’ the club made which could allow them to invest elsewhere, with midfielders Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar still very much in Arsenal’s sights.
“At the end of the day we have to find some balance between what we want to achieve with the squad and our finances,” said Arsenal’s manager.
“It gets to a point where you have to make a decision on whether to achieve certain things you have to sacrifice others.
“Time will tell whether we are weaker or not. Obviously the recruitment we are planning to get our second goalkeeper hopefully will bring us a really good performance level.”
Arsenal are close to bringing in Runar Alex Runarsson to add to their goalkeeping ranksfollowing Martinez’s departure.
The Icelandic keeper has already undergone a medical and will soon finalise his move from Dijon, with the Gunners expected to pay around £1.6m for his services.
Arteta refrained from speaking directly about the 25-year-old when asked, but confirmed a deal for a new keeper is imminent.
“Obviously with the departure of Emi, we have to replace him,” said the Spaniard.
“We’ve been looking in the market and we will shortly be in a position to announce our new signing.
“I don’t know [exactly when], in football the hours can become days and something that looks unlikely can happen straight away.
Arsenal also have an interest in Brentfordkeeper David Raya and have had offers turned down by the Championship club during the summer.
When asked if Runarsson’s arrival would end the pursuit of Raya, Arteta added: “Depends on what’s going to happen with our third goalkeeping position, because we have had some talks about that in the last few months.
“Still the market is open and things can change.”