In an exclusive interview with Football FanCast, former Aston Villa striker Marlon Harewood has heaped praise on Emiliano Martinez, claiming every team needs a goalkeeper like the Argentinian.
Martinez joined the Midlands club from Arsenal in the last summer transfer window and has firmly established himself as the first-choice No.1 at Villa Park.
Despite a good spell in between the sticks last season, which included a successful FA Cup final appearance against Chelsea, the 28-year-old was unable to dethrone Bernd Leno as Arsenal’s main shot-stopper, prompting him to make that switch.
Is Martinez the best goalkeeper in England
Speaking on his move to Villa Park and the impact he has made in the current campaign, Harewood told FFC:
“He has been a really good signing for them. They’ve needed it, every good team needs a good ‘keeper, a steady goalkeeper, and he’s shown it. All the top teams, whoever wins the league, you know your ‘keepers and clean sheets and how he’s saved goals throughout the season [makes a difference].
“You need that as a back four, as a team, that when you’re going forward to know that your ‘keeper’s a solid ‘keeper. He’s helped them this year.”
Based on current form, finding a goalkeeper better than Martinez in the country is a difficult challenge.
The Aston Villa man has kept 14 clean sheets in 26 Premier League appearances, one less than Manchester City’s Ederson, who currently leads in that category. The Villans’ defence as a whole, though, has been solid this season.
Dean Smith’s side have conceded just 27 goals in the 26 games they have played so far, showing an overall improvement to the backline. By the end of the 2019/20 Premier League campaign, Villa’s defence had been breached 67 times — the second-worst record in the division.