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Smith praises ‘remarkable’ Martinez ahead of Aston Villa’s final Premier League games

Dean Smith has hailed Emi Martinez after an excellent debut season with Aston Villa following his move to the Midlands club from Arsenal last summer.

Speaking to the press ahead of this week’s Premier League clash with Tottenham via Aston Villa’s official Twitter account, Smith lauded the impact Martinez has had on the club since his summer move from the Gunners, with BBC Sport reporting that the 28-year-old keeper signed for just £17m.

(Photo by Nick Potts – Pool/Getty Images)

The Villains boss said when asked about the Argentine keeper: “He’s been excellent and to get 15 clean sheets is a remarkable achievement. We knew what we were getting, he proved himself at the end of last season with Arsenal.”

Martinez has been a revelation for Villa since joining from Arsenal, with the 28-year-old shot-stopper keeping 15 clean sheets in the Premier League this season, the third most out of any keeper in the division this campaign, as well as winning multiple Man of the Match awards for a string of impressive performances for Smith’s side.

(Photo by Martin Rickett – Pool/Getty Images)

Villa have improved hugely since Martinez’s arrival this summer, with the Birmingham-based club set for a midtable finish after almost being relegated back down to the Championship last season, with Smith’s side at one point this campaign looking likely to fight for a European spot in the Premier League table.

TBR View: Martinez success shows Villa are starting to get smart with recruitment

When Martinez joined Villa last summer, few would have predicted the former back-up Arsenal keeper to flourish as much as he has for the Villains this season, yet his success story paints a positive picture for Smith’s team and his transfer committee who are starting to recruit players in a more intelligent manner.

The likes of Matty Cash and Ollie Watkins are further testaments to this statement, with the English duo also playing huge roles in the growth of Villa in the Premier League this season and a good example that value and quality can be found wherever you look, and Martinez’s success will likely lead to more intelligent and smart signings for the club in the future.

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