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Well done Smith – Why Aston Villa’s £17m capture of Arsenal star solves a nagging issue

Emiliano Martinez (Getty Images)

Why Emiliano Martinez would be an excellent signing for Aston Villa

According to BBC, Aston Villa have signed Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez in a bid to bolster their options between the sticks.

The Argentine shot-stopper joins the Villans for £17m. Martinez finally rose to prominence at Arsenal last season after Bernd Leno’s injury.

Profile

Emiliano Martinez started his youth career with Independiente in his native Argentina before earning a move to Arsenal way back in 2010. Having spent time on loan at League Two club Oxford United in 2011-12, the 28-year-old made his first-team debut for the Gunners during the 2012-13 campaign.

Aston Villa table second bid for Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez and make £16m offer for Bournemouth striker Josh King
Emiliano Martinez was instrumental in Arsenal’s FA Cup triumph last season (Getty Images)

However, with regular game time hard to come by at his parent club, Martinez was forced to spend time on loan at Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham United, Wolves, and Reading in the Championship, as well as Getafe in the La Liga.

The door eventually opened for the former Argentine youth international to make a name for himself in Arsenal’s first-team after Bernd Leno suffered a serious injury against Brighton last season. 

Martinez played in each of the Gunners’ last nine Premier League games last term following the restart. He also played a key role as Mikel Arteta’s side beat Chelsea in the FA Cup final and triumphed over Liverpool in the FA Community Shield.

The 28-year-old managed 23 appearances across all competitions for Arsenal last season, conceding just 24 goals and keeping an impressive 9 clean sheets in the process.

Transfer news tracker: Aston Villa in second bid for Arsenal's Emiliano Martinez – The Athletic
Aston Villa have finally signed Martinez (Getty Images)

Martinez could sort out Villa’s goalkeeping issues

Aston Villa roped in veteran keeper Pepe Reina on loan from AC Milan in January following the long-term cruciate ligament injury to Tom Heaton. The Spaniard went on to play a key role in the club’s bid for survival in the top-flight. But the former Liverpool man has since returned to Milan and sealed a permanent move to Lazio.

With Heaton yet to recover from his injury and question marks lingering over the fitness of Jed Steer, the Midlands giants currently have a big decision to make regarding their No.1 goalkeeper next season. 

Despite his heroics in the Carabao Cup last term, Orjan Nyland failed to impress in the Premier League while Lovre Kalinic is also out of favour, having spent time on loan at French club Toulouse.

Hence, it goes without saying that Aston Villa needed to reshuffle their goalkeeping options this summer to figure out a clear first-choice option between the sticks. The signing of Emiliano Martinez represents an excellent move by Dean Smith.

Arsenal's £20,000 a week man worth considering for Everton
Martinez rose to prominence at Arsenal last season after Bernd Leno’s injury (Getty Images)

The 28-year-old had turned into a forgotten figure at Arsenal. But his stellar run of form towards the back end of the previous campaign suggests that the Argentine is good enough to serve as the first-choice keeper at a Premier League club.

Martinez averaged more saves (3.8) per game than Heaton (3.4) in the league last term while also boasting a better save percentage (79%) than the Englishman (66%). 

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Verdict

Suffice to say, Aston Villa needed to bring in a quality goalkeeper this summer and Emiliano Martinez could offer very good value for money as far as the Villans are concerned. The Argentine fits the bill perfectly as an immediate, as well as a long-term fix, for Dean Smith’s side. 

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