Former England goalkeeper Rob Green believes Aston Villa have made a signing that could keep them in the Premier League.
The ex-Norwich, West Ham and QPR stopper admits the £20million they spent on Emiliano Martinez might have been a surprise to some.
But the pundit told Sky Sports’ Football Show that Martinez has already shown his value and that he has already gone some way to repaying that sizeable fee.
“I think there were a few eyebrows raised when they paid as much money as they did but he has proven himself in those Arsenal games as a capable ‘keeper,” Green said.
“He has developed his game and he just looked so assured for Arsenal but he has taken that into his Villa game and he has stepped up with big moments, that penalty save obviously a huge moment against Sheffield United.
“To come in and get two clean sheets is so, so priceless, they are so key to a successful season.
“If you turn around to a team and say ‘If you keep ten-twelve clean sheets in a season, you are staying up’.
“That’s a premise you work on in the Premier League, if you keep that many clean sheets then you are guaranteeing your team’s survival. He is a fifth of the way there already.
“They are looking at the options they have got in the goalkeeping department with Tom Heaton coming back and Jed Steer as well.
“They needed not only for the short term but for the long term as well to steady that area.
“They chopped and changed a lot last season with the injury to Tom and from there you say ‘We have got one guy we can rely on, he’s there’ and if you’re Dean Smith ‘That’s one problem I don’t have to deal with again this season’.
“It’s only good news from there on in for Villa fans, you have got a consistent reliable goalkeeper, that’s taken care of, that’s what you want as a team, as a fan, as a manager, something to put to one side and not to bother with. Good for them – and one that’s hit the ground running.”