Arsenal look to have lost their battle to keep Martinez, with personal terms already agreed at Aston Villa.
Words: Mark Jirobe | @VillaMarkPGH
Tom Kershaw of The Independent has reported that Arsenal is prepared to “reluctantly” sell Emiliano Martinez, with Aston Villa and Martinez already agreeing to a 4-year, £60,000 a week contract. Villa will have to first make an improvement to their initial bid of 15 million pounds, but it’s looking like Dean Smith will have a new goalkeeper between the sticks for the 2020-2021 Premier League season.
There are varying opinions among Aston Villa supporters, with some thinking that the injured Tom Heaton will do just fine upon his return from a nasty knee injury. There are also some who feel the large majority of goalkeepers in the ranks at Villa aren’t up to the task of playing in the Premier League. Alas, this isn’t the first time Heaton has been sidelined with a long-term injury in his career & the brass at Villa are taking no chances.
If Aston Villa are to improve upon their finishing position of 17th last season in the Premier League, starting with keeping goals out of the back of their own net is a good place to start. Aston Villa’s defence wasn’t the best before Project Restart, but definitely improved once the Premier League resumed. Dean Smith has already gotten Matty Cash through the door from Nottingham Forest to solidify the right-back position.
Although Cash may be seen as a more forward-thinking option, his work rate and determination on display for Forest will likely translate to how he will play at Villa.
The 28-year old Martinez found himself in goal for Arsenal for a total of 2497 minutes after an injury to Arsenal’s Bernd Leno and didn’t look out of his depth at all. Arsenal supporters aren’t too thrilled about Martinez departing for more playing time as they see him as a very good backup option, but also admit that he is too good to waste away on the bench or coming into the fold solely for cup competitions. Martinez faced 110 shots towards his net last season and conceded 28 goals across all competitions.
If Villa land Martinez to be their number one option in net, it would be one of the bigger signings that have come through the door for Villa during the current transfer window. Besides the individual defensive woes of last season at Villa, the goalkeeper position was a carousel of ‘next man up’ before Project Restart. Jed Steer, Orjan Nyland, Pepe Reina, & Tom Heaton all featured at one point or another last season, and in the Premier League, that’s not the standard in which the position should operate.
Villa manager Dean Smith and Sporting Director Johan Lange will be thrilled to get Martinez into a squad that is beginning to show signs of staying in the Premier League this season and for many seasons to come.