Emiliano Martinez has impressed between the sticks since joining Aston Villa on a four-year deal from Arsenal last summer and Brad Friedel hailed the “brilliant” 28-year-old as a “signing of the season” contender.
Martinez has made 25 Premier League appearances this season, conceding 27 goals and keeping 13 clean sheets , so he’s closing in on Friedel and Mark Bosnich’s record 15 clean sheets in the top-flight for Villa (Transfermarkt) with 13 more games to play.
Friedel had nothing but praise for the uncapped Argentine, telling The Athletic: “He’s doing brilliant. One of the signings of the season.” Villa paid around £17m for Martinez, but he looks a snip given how well he’s performed.
The 28-year-old has saved 78.6% of 117 shots on target faced in the league and has conceded seven fewer goals than expected (FBRef). Martinez made 38 appearances in 10 years at Arsenal, keeping 16 clean sheets (Transfermarkt), so he could break his decade-long Gunners record in only his first season since leaving.
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Martinez was somewhat a gamble given his overall lack of playing time at Arsenal and the lofty asking price, but he’s been more than worth it. The 28-year-old is Villa’s most expensive goalkeeper by some distance but may end up being the best too.