Dean Smith says one Aston Villa player has made a truly 'incredible' impact since joining
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has waxed lyrical about Emiliano Martinez, saying he has made an “incredible impact” since arriving at Villa Park.
The 28-year-old goalkeeper joined Villa in a reported £20million deal last summer following a decade at Arsenal.
Martinez has made 26 Premier League appearances for the Villans, conceding just 27 goals and keeping a remarkable 14 clean sheets.
His efforts have helped the West Midlands side into the top half of the table, and European qualification remains a possibility.
Martinez just needs one more clean sheet to equal Brad Friedel’s record of 15 from 38 back in 2009-10, when Villa finished sixth for the third-straight season.
And speaking ahead of Villa’s meeting with Newcastle on Friday, Smith sung his keeper’s praises.
“The impact he’s made has been incredible,” the Villa boss is quoted by the Birmingham Mail as saying.
“We knew that he had that Premier League experience – he was recently an FA Cup winner, so we knew we were signing a good goalkeeper.
“We’ve got good goalkeepers at the football club. Unfortunately, at the time Tom Heaton was injured and wasn’t going to make the start of the season.
“It makes it a real competitive area. Thankfully, Emi has excelled which has been good for our team as a whole.”
Martinez has been truly sensational for Villa, so much so that Arsenal fans have debated for much of the season whether the club made the right decision in selling him.
Their loss is the Villans’ gain, and with his contract running to 2024, fans will see plenty more from the Argentine ace, with the club in a great place to kick on further next season and beyond.
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