Arsenal GK Emiliano Martinez Leaves to Join Aston Villa

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Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, 28, has made the switch to Aston Villa, finding an opportunity to potentially enjoy regular first first team football. With Bernd Leno the established No. 1 at the Emirates, it just wasn’t going to happen for him in north London.

This is a deal that should work out for all involved, as supposedly cash-strapped Arsenal will reportedly receive £20 million in return for the Argentine. For Villa it’s a statement of intent on the upcoming season as Martinez is their third new signing of the transfer window.

Forward Ollie Watkins from Brentford, for a club-record £33 million, and Nottingham Forest right back Matty Cash were the first two. And yesterday, they extended team captain Jack Grealish to a long term deal, warding off speculated interest from Manchester United.

“We are really pleased with the signing of our new goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez,” reads a statement atrributed to Aston Villa manager Dean Smith.

“We know how highly Arsenal rated him and we watched his outstanding performances last season in a trophy-winning top side.”

“We moved for Emi when we saw the opportunity, as it is rare to be able to buy a top class goalkeeper who hasn’t yet reached their peak age and who can therefore be a key player for our Club for the long term.”

Villa barely survived life in the top flight last season, narrowly escaping relegation back down to the Championship. Making moves like this should mean, as long as everyone stays healthy and form holds, that the Villans should finish far above the drop zone in the table this season.

Emiliano Martinez registered nine clean sheets last season.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated, Chicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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