'World-class': BBC pundit amazed by £17m Tottenham target
Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

'World-class': BBC pundit amazed by £17m Tottenham target

Garth Crooks has labelled Tottenham Hotspur target Emi Martinez world-class after naming the Aston Villa goalkeeper in his team of the week for BBC Sport.

Martinez kept his eighth clean sheet of the Premier League season on Saturday as Unai Emery’s side comfortably dispatched Bournemouth at Villa Park.

Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

He made a handful of saves, including one outstanding stop from Philip Billing. But his distribution was also on another level for the Villans.

Crooks amazed by Emi Martinez

And that prompted Crooks to include the World Cup winner in his team of the week, suggesting that he showed why he is so highly-rated in the game with his performance in the 3-0 win.

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

“Martinez’s right-handed stop from a blistering Philip Billing drive when Villa were 1-0 up against Bournemouth was absolutely superb,” he told BBC Sport.

“However, the art of good goalkeeping is forcing the striker to change his mind, or forcing him to do something he would prefer not to do – which was precisely what Martinez did when Dominic Solanke was clear with only the goalkeeper to beat. The Argentine stayed on his feet before backtracking towards his own goal, all the time continually asking questions of the Bournemouth striker.

“Keepers who repeatedly come running out of their goalmouths in an attempt to win the ball are either often easy pickings for any decent striker or invariably give a penalty away. Martinez did neither, but did give Tyrone Mings the opportunity to get a tackle in instead. World-class goalkeeping.”

World Cup winner sending a message to Tottenham ahead of the summer

Of course, his performances may be catching the eye of several other clubs ahead of the summer. Certainly, Villa will surely be wondering whether they will face a battle to keep him ahead of next season.

One side who are apparently keen on Martinez is Tottenham. Spurs will surely be on the lookout for a new number one in the summer with Hugo Lloris struggling for form since signing a new contract in North London.

Fraser Forster has arguably not had to do a huge amount to put a bit of pressure on the Frenchman while he is out injured. And with that, it seems imperative that they sign another goalkeeper in the summer.

Graeme Bailey recently told the Talking Transfers podcast that Martinez joining Spurs could happen. And you could certainly understand why Tottenham may be interested – despite his connections with their North London rivals.

He will not come cheap. Villa are surely going to want to make a huge profit on the £17 million they spent on the goalkeeper.

But if a deal is possible, Tottenham would be wise to take up the opportunity.

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