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Martinez Completes £20m Transfer To Aston Villa From Arsenal

The Argentine stopper, who played for the Gunners in their 2020 FA Cup final victory, has left for first-team football at Villa Park

Emi Martinez has left Arsenal after his £20 million ($25m) transfer to Aston Villa was confirmed on Wednesday.

The Argentine stopper played regularly at the end of last season and started in the Gunners’ FA Cup final victory over Chelsea at Wembley in August.

However manager Mikel Arteta has chosen Bernd Leno as his No 1 for the coming season, leading Martinez to end his long asssociation with Arsenal and seek first-team action elsewhere.

Villa confirmed that Martinez has joined on a four-year contract, and it is expected that the Argentina international will serve as their first choice keeper this season as they look to avoid another relegation dogfight, having only stayed up on the final day in 2019-20.

Manager Dean Smith said: “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 28-year-old moved to Arsenal more than 10 years ago, in August 2010, from home town club Independiente. Often a back-up who was regularly sent out on loan, Martinez moved into the spotlight at the end of the 2019-20 season after Leno suffered a shoulder injury in the Premier League defeat to Brighton.

Martinez started the final 11 games of Arsenal’s campaign as the English football season resumed following coronavirus-enforced shutdown. He also played all six of Arsenal’s games in the FA Cup last season, conceding just three goals.

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The Gunners lifted the FA Cup at Wembley as they beat Chelsea 2-1, and Martinez also got his hands on silverware in his final competitive Gunners match as they beat Liverpool in the Community Shield.

He made a total of 39 appearances for Arsenal, in between loans at six clubs – Oxford United, Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham United, Wolves, Getafe and Reading.

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