Aston Villa enjoyed another good summer of transfer business, with Dean Smith bringing in a number of fine players to compliment an already talented squad.
Ross Barkley’s loan signing from Chelsea was the icing on the cake to a window that saw the likes of Ollie Watkins, Emi Martinez, and Matty Cash all arrive at Villa Park.
Of course, the £33m capture of Watkins was the headline grabber. And at the moment, it looks like being money well spent, with his hat-trick against Liverpool being particularly pleasing on the eye for Villa fans.
Others have done well, too. Cash looks established already while Barkley has made a fine start to life in the Midlands.
But despite those outfield players excelling, it is the £17m signing of Emi Martinez from Arsenal that cannot be overlooked as a superb piece of business by Villa. And come season’s end, fans will look back and say that he was the best signing they made during 2020.
His time has come and it’s showing already
Few goalkeepers have shown the patience and maturity that Martinez has throughout his career. Nearly always the second-choice at Arsenal, the stopper got his time to shine at the back end of last season and has improved ever since.
An FA Cup winner, as well as adding the Community Shield, proved Martinez can shine in the big moments under the brightest of spotlights.
Furthermore, his start with Villa has been excellent, too. A crucial penalty save against Sheffield United and two clean-sheets from three Premier League games already mean he is paying some of the money back Villa spent on him.
Having a top goalkeeper is usually the mark of a good team and success usually follows. Villa have got a fine stopper in Martinez and at just £17m, they also have what looks like a bit of a bargain on their hands.