Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez is ‘aiming for the Champions League’ after shining in Argentina’s World Cup win, agent Gustavo Goni tells Tuttomercatoweb before admitting that ‘few teams can afford’ the former Arsenal benchwarmer.
Even before the most enthralling World Cup final in recent memory was decided from 12 yards – Argentina triumphing 4-2 on penalties after 120 remarkable minutes – Martinez had quite the reputation as a ‘spot-kick specialist’.
The one-time Oxford United loanee saved three penalties en route to Argentina’s Copa America triumph last year. And, after denying Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman at the Lusail Stadium, Martinez’s divisive but oh-so effective antics obviously took their toll on Aurelien Tchouameni’s nerve; the 30-year-old’s shoulder-swaying jig after the Real Madrid midfielder fired wide certain to spawn a thousand memes.
“Argentina were the best team. They showed great unity. And they deservedly won,” begins Goni. “‘Dibu’ demonstrated what we thought for some time. That he is a great goalkeeper. The best in the world.”
Speculation regarding Martinez’s future at Villa Park is almost inevitable ahead of the January transfer window; Goni indicating that a future in Italy’s top flight may be on the cards. Not that Aston Villa are going to let their £20 million powerhouse go without a fight. And nor should they, with their Premier League status still far from secure.
Goni, however, indicates that Martinez’s price-tag has risen considerably during two-and-a-half excellent years in the Midlands.
“Today there are few teams that can afford a goalkeeper like him,” the agent adds amid interest from Italian giants Juventus. “But Serie A? Well, why not? (Martinez is) clearly aiming high, for the Champions League.”
According to The Athletic, Aston Villa have ‘no intention’ of letting Martinez go any time soon. But Martinez, having only started playing regular, first-team football in a major European league as recently as 2020, is determined to make up for lost time and fight for yet more of the game’s biggest honours.
With all due respect to Aston Villa, Martinez may have no choice but to consider his future if he wants to play Champions League football and fight for silverware at the top level.