Martinez took over at the back-end of last season after Leno suffered a season-ending injury.
The Argentine impressed, seizing his opportunity but ahead of this season, Mikel Arteta handed the reins back to his German keeper, while Martinez completed a £20million move to Aston Villa.
And Leno says he never feared losing his starter role. Speaking after Arsenal’s penalty shootout win over Liverpool in the Carabao Cup round of 16, Leno told Sky Sports: “No, I’ve never feared it because the club always gave me the feeling that I am the number one and I will be the number one.
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“So, that was always really good from the club, and my job is to prove it every week and I think I’ve done it tonight.”
Speaking about the win over Liverpool in which Leno won the Man of the Match award for his penalty shootout heroics, he added: “I think it was a very tough game, I think we made a few changes but you could see our philosophy, our intention to win this game.
“Of course, it’s only the Carabao Cup, but we wanted to go through to the quarter-final because it’s a chance to win another trophy and that’s our target. Luckily we won the penalty shootout.
“We won this game and it’s very good for a goalkeeper to save some penalties and see laughing faces after the game. I prefer next time to win this game without penalty shootout.”
Arsenal only lost to Liverpool at Anfield on Monday in the Premier League, returning four days later to enact Carabao Cup revenge.
Asked about the strangeness of playing the same team at the same stadium within four days, Leno replied: “Of course, it’s not easy, but as I said, we made some changes to have fresh blood in the team.
“It’s not easy to come to the same place, because it was a disappointment, because we expected a little bit more on Monday, but we analysed the game, the manager found the right words to keep our heads up and I think you could see that tonight.”