Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has completed a £20million transfer to Premier League rivals Aston Villa.
The 28-year-old has put pen-to-paper at Villa Park to depart the Emirates after ten years.
talkSPORT previously revealed that the Argentine underwent his medical last Saturday after being left out the matchday squad for the Gunners’ Premier League opener against Fulham – which they won 3-0.
Martinez impressed while stepping in for the injured Bernd Leno last season, keeping nine clean sheets in 23 games.
He ended the 2019/20 season by helping Arsenal lift the FA Cup, and began the current campaign by keeping his place for the Community Shield defeat of Liverpool.
But he was replaced by the fit-again Leno for the Gunners’ first 2020/21 Premier League game, with the club’s No.1 taking back his shirt for the Craven Cottage victory.
It was a clear indication of Arsenal’s decision over their goalkeeper dilemma, after Martinez openly admitted he would seek a move away from the Emirates this summer after ten years if not given a fair shot at regular football.
He leaves having made only 15 Premier League appearances during his ten years in north London, adding a further 23 appearances in other competitions for the Gunners.
Martinez’s exit has raised funds for Arsenal as they seek to complete a double deal for two of Mikel Arteta’s top targets.
The £20m fee is likely to go towards bids for Thomas Partey, the Atletico Madrid midfielder, and also Lyon ace Houssem Aouar, with both players wanted by the Gunners boss this summer.
Villa boss Dean Smith said upon completion Martinez’s move to Villa Park: “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.”
Martinez is Villa’s third summer signing, following the club-record arrival of Brentford striker Ollie Watkins and addition of Nottingham Forest right-back Matty Cash.