Aston Villa have signed Emi Martinez on a four-year contract in a deal that will earn Arsenal around £20 million.
The Argentine made it clear after his heroics at the tail-end of last season that he wouldn’t settle for playing back-up to Bernd Leno any longer and opted to seek pastures new when Arsenal failed to give him the assurances he wanted.
While Mikel Arteta will regret having to sell his former teammate, the funds raised should cover a replacement – rumoured to be Brentford’s David Raya – and form a chunk of any down payment on a midfielder.
Martinez made 38 appearances in total for the Gunners since joining the club as a teenager in 2010. The majority of those came last season following an injury to Leno and included impressive performances on the way to FA Cup success at Wembley.
A thoroughly likeable chap with a heartwarming back story, he’ll be missed by the fans who really took to him in recent months. In an Instagram video shared last night, he bid farewell.
We wish Emi all the best at Villa Park and with his quest to become Argentina’s number one.