Saturday, September 26

Emiliano Martinez determined to embrace "new challenge" at Aston Villa

:Headline: Emiliano Martinez determined to embrace 'new challenge' at Aston Villa: ID:414562: from db_amp
The Argentina international has left Arsenal to sign a four-year deal at Villa Park.

Emiliano Martinez is excited and ready for his "new challenge" at Aston Villa after ending his decade-long association with Arsenal.

The 28-year-old goalkeeper has been subject of widespread speculation about his Gunners future, having impressed during the final weeks of the season in the absence of injured number one Bernd Leno.

Martinez was between the sticks as Mikel Arteta's side won the FA Cup against Chelsea, just as he was when Arsenal beat Liverpool to win the Community Shield later that month.

It proved a triumphant farewell for the Argentina international, who has signed a four-year deal at Villa Park after moving for a reported £20million.

"I've been around in the UK for 10, 11 years already and I know Villa's history and I know how big Villa is," Martinez said.

"Obviously I trust the manager, I trust the goalkeeper coach and the club's ambition.

"That's why I decide to come here. I believe the club is going forward.

"I've been at Arsenal 10, 11 years fighting for my spot. When I won the FA Cup and the Community Shield, I spoke to my family and said 'it's time to have a new challenge'.

Emiliano Martinez celebrates Arsenal's FA Cup final victory with Kieran Tierney (Catherine Ivill/PA)

"When Aston Villa gave me the opportunity to fight for the spot and play loads of Premier League games and that's why I decided to come here.

"I trust the process and I trust the manager's playing style.

"I truly believe that we can do a good season at Villa."

Martinez made 39 first-team appearances for Arenal after joining from Independiente in 2010, as well as spending time on loan at six clubs – Oxford, Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham, Wolves, Getafe and Reading.

"We are really pleased with the signing of our new goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez," the Villa boss said. "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 the third first-team acquisition of the summer, having signed Nottingham Forest full-back Matty Cash and Brentford striker Ollie Watkins in a club-record deal that could reportedly reach £33million.

Villa have also tied skipper Jack Grealish down to a new and improved five-year deal amid interest in the England international.

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