Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has left Arsenal to join Aston Villa for a deal believed to be worth in the region of £20m.
The already 28 years old, Martinez enjoyed something of a breakthrough year in 2019/20. After an injury to Bernd Leno ruled the German out of the Gunners' final Premier League run-in, the Argentine stepped in and produced a string of superb displays that inevitably helped his side claim a 14th FA Cup trophy.
However, with Leno back from injury, Martinez has now been deemed surplus to requirements by the Gunners, as Aston Villa fought off late competition from Brighton to sign the stopper on a deal running until 2024.
Manager Dean Smith expressed his delight at the move.
Smith is quoted as saying on the club's 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.”
The stopper joins Ollie Watkins (Brentford) and Matty Cash (Nottingham Forest) as the other new arrivals at Villa Park this summer.
Martinez bids farewell to north London where he played for over ten years, although much of his time with the club was spent either out on loan or as a backup.
Speaking on Instagram prior to his departure, Martinez paid tribute to the Gunners.He said: "For me, I could not be happier to leave through the front door with the Arsenal fanbase supporting me and the club supporting me.
"I had 11 years at the club, and even if it was a hard road for me, and I suffered through my time at Arsenal, today I am happy and I tried to show young goalies how work pays off."
90min understands Arsenal have looked at Brentford's David Raya as a possible replacement.
Source : 90min