Aston Villa has completed the signing of Emi Martinez from Arsenal for a reported £16 million which could rise to £20m with add-ons, The Athletic NG reports.
The 28-year-old Argentine goalkeeper has agreed to a four-year deal with Aston Villa and is expected to replace Tom Heaton as the No 1.
Emiliano Martinez joins Aston Villa after spending eleven years at Arsenal, making just 39 first-team appearances including last season’s FA Cup final win over Chelsea and the Community Shield victory over Premier League reigning champions Liverpool.
Announcing the deal, Villa Head Coach, Dean Smith told the club’s official website: “We are really pleased with the signing of our new goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.
“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.”
Martinez, who had two years remaining on his Arsenal contract, impressed when he stepped in for Bernd Leno when the German was injured following June’s Premier League restart, but was absent from the matchday squad for the opening weekend win at Fulham.
The Argentine kept nine clean sheets in 23 games last season and helped Arsenal win the FA Cup, and also started in their Community Shield triumph over Liverpool at the start of 2020/21.
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He becomes Villa’s third major addition, following the arrivals of club-record signing Ollie Watkins from Brentford and defender Matty Cash from Nottingham Forest.
Martinez could make his debut for the club when Villa begin their Premier League campaign against Sheffield United on Monday.
Yesterday, Martinez posted an emotional farewell message to Arsenal supporters on Tuesday, in which he outlined his frustration at a lack of playing time during the majority of his time at the club.
In a post on Instagram, Emi Martinez, who joined Arsenal from Independiente in 2010, said: “I could not be happier to leave through the front door, with the Arsenal fanbase supporting me.
“I’m very grateful for the 11 years at Arsenal, even if it was hard for me and I suffered through my time.
“Season after season I was trying come back to the club I love to try and have my chance.
“I’m proud to have overcome my frustration and show the Arsenal fanbase what it missed ten years ago. I knew I could do the same thing years before.
“It was hard, but I knew there was light at the end of the tunnel.”
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