Following Aston Villa’s somewhat unexpected move for Arsenal goalkeeper Emi Martinez, the 28-year-old Argentine had a magnificent debut for us in the Premier League opener against Sheffield United last Monday.
Although he only faced one shot on target, and a weak header at that which probably didn’t count, the standout moment for him was the penalty save he pulled off to keep us from falling behind – but it was his overall command of the box that impressed plenty of fans.
Emi's 𝗙𝗜𝗥𝗦𝗧 save as an Aston Villa player! 👏
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) September 22, 2020
Martinez himself was natural delighted with his bow, describing the penalty stop as being like ‘scoring a hat-trick’ and former player Alan Hutton was equally as full of praise as he spoke to Football Insider recently.
“I thought he was brilliant, so calming. Some back passes were fired at him, a couple of bombs he had to deal with but nice touch, no problem, nice and calm, playing out, talking to his back four – a big, commanding voice, you could hear him while you were watching, coming for crosses. He literally did everything that a top goalkeeper should do. We saw him last season, we knew how good he was when he came into the Arsenal squad, I think we were all surprised that they let him leave because I thought he would push Bernd Leno this year for the number one spot. It shows you the character that he is that he wants to go out on his own and be a number one. Villa have given him that chance and oh my word, did he take it! They have been crying out for someone like this for quite a while.”
With no slight intended against Tom Heaton who has already proven his worth for us or Jed Steer for the key part he played in gaining promotion in the first place, few will disagree with Hutton’s words here as we now look incredibly well stocked in the goalkeeping department and with Heaton and Emi battling it out for the shirt, it should bring out the best of both of them.