Emi Martinez has completed his expected move to Aston Villla and has signed a four-year contract with his new club, according to multiple reports. The transfer move cost £20M, although it’s not clear whether that’s at signing or when escalators are hit — I’ve seen both. The sale makes Martinez the most expensive Argentine goalkeeper in history, and sees Arsenal’s longest tenured player leave the club.
It was always likely Martinez would leave in either this window or the next, and that timetable was sped up by his impressive performances during the restart in place of the injured Bernd Leno. Martinez wanted number one, starter minutes, and he wasn’t going to get that in North London. In a sense, Arsenal are fortunate that Martinez got his shot and did so well with it. The Gunners wind up making significantly more off the sale of a player who, until three months ago, was valued around £5M. I would have liked to see Arsenal hold out for more, but £20M is a tidy sum.
Some of that money will go towards bringing in a new backup keeper; Arsenal don’t rate Matt Macey. The Gunners have already been linked with a number of goalies from across Europe, including David Raya and Runar Alex Runarsson. More importantly, most of that money (likely) will go towards bringing in midfield reinforcements.
I don’t think Arsenal are finished in the transfer market quite yet. I expect a handful more sales — Sokratis, Torreira (likely), Elneny (maybe), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (maybe), Alexandre Lacaczette (unlikely but possible). And I think the Gunners have one more big move in them — Thomas Partey or Houssem Aouar.
Good luck Emi (just not against Arsenal)!