Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Aston Villa legend insists club won’t ‘listen to offers’ for star, who can reach top under Emery

Emi Martinez and Ollie Watkins of Aston Villa

Gabby Agbonlahor has insisted Aston Villa will not “listen to offers’ for Emiliano Martinez unless they’re “ridiculous”, as Unai Emery can help him reach his goals.

Martinez has been a mainstay of the Villa side over the past three seasons. In his first term after joining from Arsenal, the Argentine played every single league game, keeping 15 clean sheets, as Villa finished 11th.

Last season, with the Villans under the cosh more often, as they finished 14th, the goalkeeper kept 11 clean sheets in 36 games.

Martinez has missed just two games so far this season, and has kept 11 clean sheets. That tally is the joint-fifth best of any goalkeeper in the Premier League.

His role in the Villa side was crucial when they were lower down the league, highlighting his impact. The rise up the league means the rest of the side have gotten to his level.

Indeed, Villa are currently eighth in the Premier League, level on points with seventh-placed Tottenham and a point below Brighton, who are in sixth.

There have been rumours Martinez could be heading through the exit door at Villa Park. Of late, it was reported he’s “likely to change clubs” though no reason was given for why that might be.

He has previously admitted he has the “level to play in the Champions League and try to win it”. With the upwards trajectory Villa are on, it might not be too long until he’s able to play in the competition with his current side.

Agbonlahor insists Villa won’t sell Martinez

Villa legend Agbonlahor feels the club won’t sell the star unless they receive a massive offer.

“I wouldn’t, no. Unless they’ve got a release clause, the Villa owners won’t want to sell anyone,” he told Football Insider.

“Martinez has been outstanding – and it’s understandable that he’s hungry for trophies and Champions League football after winning the World Cup.

“But I’m sure a manager like Emery can persuade him to do it with Aston Villa. He’s on a long-term contract.

“I don’t think Villa will listen to offers. Unless it’s a ridiculous offer of £50-60million, something crazy – I can’t see it happening.”

Villa can progress further

Villa certainly could be able to get themselves into a position where they’re fighting at the top end of the table and playing in European competition soon.

Emery, with an inherited squad and two signings of his own, has been able to take the Villans from a relegation battle to eighth in the league.

As such, with a whole summer to add new talent into the ranks and more time to coach his side the way he wants them to play, they could continue their rise next season.

As such, there’s no reason to suggest Martinez’s goals can’t be reached with Villa. While he could obviously play for a bigger side, Villa could become that big side soon enough.

He’ll surely want to stick around to see if that’s possible, being one of the catalysts for them going from the bottom half of the table to being one of the big hitters again.

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