Arsenal lose goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez to Aston Villa

Liverpool's Japanese midfielder Takumi Minamino (left) shoots to score past Arsenal's Argentinian goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez (right) during the English FA Community Shield match at Wembley Stadium in north London on August 29, 2020.

Photo credit: Justin Tallis | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Emi started the last 11 matches of the 2019/20 season, performing superbly and continuing this form into this season in Arsenal's Community Shield penalty shoot-out victory over Liverpool.
  • The 28-year-old Argentine has signed a four-year deal.

London

Aston Villa announced the signing of Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez on Wednesday for a reported fee of £20 million ($26 million, Sh2.6 billion).

The 28-year-old Argentine, who has signed a four-year deal, helped Arsenal to FA Cup victory last season and Community Shield glory last month but faced playing second fiddle to Bernd Leno.

Villa boss 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 Argentinean international goalkeeper, a hugely popular figure around the club, signed for Arsenal 10 years ago in August 2010 from home city side Independiente.

Emi started the last 11 matches of the 2019/20 season, performing superbly and continuing this form into this season in Arsenal's Community Shield penalty shoot-out victory over Liverpool.

In total, Emi made 39 first-team appearances, spending loan spells with six clubs – Oxford United, Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham United, Wolves, Getafe and Reading – in order to develop his experience.