Brad Friedel believes Aston Villa star is ‘one of the signings of the season’

Paul Macdonald
Paul Macdonald Updated: 20 May 2021 12:26 CEST 2 min read
Brad Friedel believes Aston Villa star is ‘one of the signings of the season’

Ex-Blackburn Rovers, Tottenham and Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Friedel believes one of his former sides have made the signing of the season by bringing Emiliano Martinez to the club.

Martinez rose to prominence last season after filling in admirably for the injured Bernd Leno at Arsenal before playing a key role in the Gunners FA Cup triumph.

After failing to receive assurances of his playing time, the Argentine decided it was time to leave the Emirates Stadium in search of regular minutes. The 28-year-old shot-stopper joined Aston Villa side in a £15m move over the summer and has impressed throughout his maiden season with Dean Smith’s side, registering 13 clean sheets in his 25 Premier League appearances.

His performances have drawn praise from several pundits, players and fans alike, and Friedel is clearly another admirer of the South American keeper.

In an interview with The Athletic, the American said: “He’s doing brilliant. One of the signings of the season.

“If you can get consistency and stability in the back, with Jack Grealish up there, you have a special player who can unlock defences.”

Frieidel enjoyed three successful years at Villa Park, where he managed to record 15 shutouts in the 2009/10 campaign, a total that Martinez will have firmly in his sights for the rest of the season.

Clean Sheets13
Save Percentage78.6
Goals Against P901.08
Goals Against27
Premier League stats 2020/21

The 6’4 keeper has played a pivotal part in Villa’s improved top-flight performance in the current campaign. After narrowly escaping relegation last year, they have gone from strength to strength this time around, and Martinez has been crucial to that.

Smith’s men are sitting in ninth position in the Premier League standings, eight points behind Chelsea in fourth but with two games in hand over Thomas Tuchel’s men.

European qualification is on the cards for Aston Villa and Martinez could be part of a historic side, rewarding his bold decision to leave North London less than 12 months ago.