Emiliano Martinez was a notable absentee from Arsenal’s comprehensive 3-0 victory against Fulham in their opening Premier League game on Saturday. Excluded from the match-day squad, it was later revealed that Martinez’s transfer to Aston Villa is at an advanced stage, with an expected fee of £20 million.
Emiliano Martinez Transfer Suits Both Parties
Goalkeeper Wants Regular Games
Despite their best efforts, Arsenal have failed to persuade Martinez to stay. Following some excellent performances in goal towards the end of last season, Martinez stated his desire to be playing first-team football in 2020/21. His demand put Arsenal in a tricky situation because of Bernd Leno’s return to fitness. This has led to Mikel Arteta’s hand being forced but, as he looks to strengthen Arsenal in other areas, £20 million for a back-up goalkeeper is money he will gladly accept.
This is also an excellent signing for Villa, who immediately strengthen a positional need with a player who has proven himself in the Premier League as well as winning the FA Cup.
Villa Spending Spree Continues
The Villains have made some key additions already this summer, bringing in Matty Cash from Nottingham Forest for £16 million as well breaking their transfer record to sign striker Ollie Watkins for £33 million, who scored 26 goals in the Championship for Brentford last season. Villa are by no means finished in the transfer market either, as they are seeking to sign Lyon’s Bertrand Traore.
Martinez’s imminent arrival means strength in a key area for Dean Smith’s side, who conceded 67 league goals in 2019/20, second only to relegated Norwich City. When called on to deputise for Leno last season, Martinez was a commanding presence in the Arsenal area, saving a league-high 81% of shots faced.
International Dream Now a Reality for Martinez
Part of the reason that Martinez stressed his importance as a first-team regular is his long-standing dream of being an international starter for his country, Argentina. If there were any doubts as to whether this ambition could have been fulfilled at Arsenal, a move to the Midlands creates a clear opportunity for him to become Argentina’s number one.
He will clearly become an established number one at Villa Park and plenty of Premier League minutes will strengthen his case to wear the starting jersey at international level.
Emiliano Martinez Transfer Gives Gunners Much-Needed Cash
Before appearing for Arsenal in 12 successive games to close out last campaign, Martinez would have struggled to generate a price tag anywhere his current £20 million value. This fee will become invaluable as Arteta seeks to bolster his midfield but currently lacks the funds to sign Houssem Aouar and Thomas Partey. Arsenal have also targeted Iceland goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson as a back-up in goal. He could be bought from Dijon for as little as £1.5 million as Arteta is keen to invest in other positions in his squad.
Given the current climate of the transfer market, Arteta has been vocal about the need to generate transfer funds through the sale of current first-team players before he brings in any new faces. The sale of Martinez will help him do just that.