Emi Martinez has had quite the year. World Cup Winner and more recently he won the Fifa Mens Goalkeeper of 2023. Quite rightly the man between the sticks profile has skyrocketed so naturally, the rumour mill will kick into overdrive but is it as clear cut as some sections of the media would have you believe?
Martinez has been a hero at Villa Park since he was signed back in September 2020. He signed a four-year deal and saved a penalty in a 1-0 home win against Sheffield United on his debut. That season he equalled Brad Friedal’s club record of 15 clean sheets in the Premier League and was voted supporters Player of the Season.
The Argentine then extended his contract in 2022 which now runs until 2027, protecting the club from any offers that may or may not come.
Emi made his international debut while a Villa player and has always expressed his gratitude to the club, the fans and former goalkeeper coach and friend Neil Cutler.
So, does Emi Martinez want to leave Aston Villa?
We have heard from his agent and more recently his father, two people who are very important to Martinez’s career and life but what does Martinez think himself?
For the first time since the World Cup, our World Cup Winning goalkeeper has had his say and quotes from the Mirror will be something that Villa supporters will be pleased to hear:
“I want to achieve something that no one achieves or it’s been hard to achieve. People were saying, after the Copa America after the World Cup, Emi is going to go and play Champions League and he’s going to leave.
“And I’m thinking, yeah, that’s the easiest part. You know that that’s easy leaving now to a club playing the Champions League. It seems everything is easy but actually, it was a real challenge for me.
“Winning a World Cup for Argentina after 36 years? Yes. Beating the champions of America after 28 years in the Maracana? Yeah, that was a challenge. Winning the final against the champions of Europe was a challenge.
“And now we need something for Aston Villa after 30 years. That’s a challenge. And that’s something I’m made for – for challenges, for not always having the easy way out.
“We’ve got one of the best managers for winning things in Europe. So I’m up for the challenge.”
Let’s not kid ourselves, this is football and you never know what is around the corner. We have been done a few times, Fabian Delph comes to mind and more recently Aston Villa fan, Jack Grealish (although I understand the latter if others don’t).
But at the same time, it’s great to hear. Aston Villa has sold its assets in the past and should they have to sell again, as previously mentioned they are protected but there is something about Martinez that I think is different.
There is a little South American contingent at Aston Villa and I believe Emi Martinez is settled in the area with his family, this will play a big part for a goalkeeper who has spent much of his career out on loan.
He has a home and he is adored by the club’s fans. All players will always want to be successful but he could go down in folk law for Aston Villa if he was part of a team to end our trophy drought.
The summer will be interesting but one thing is for sure, I have a good feeling about Emi Martinez and I personally believe he will be our Number 1 goalkeeper next season.