After impressing late on in the 2019/20 season for the Gunners, Villa made their move for Martinez, signing the Argentinian shot-stopper in a deal worth £17m.
The goalkeeper started his senior career at Arsenal but was rarely afforded first-team opportunities, spending time out on loan with the likes of Wolves, Reading and Getafe.
In those appearances, Martinez would keep 16 clean sheets and concede just 41 goals, which was enough to convince Villa that he would be a solid first-choice for them, and the move has certainly paid off, as he has established himself as one of the top shot-stoppers outside of the top six, while he is also a regular for Argentina.
When he joined the club, his value according to Transfermarkt was just £10.8m, but now it stands at £25.2m, which represents an eye-catching 133% increase.
This emphasises just how good a deal it was by Aston Villa’s sporting director Johan Lange, who had only joined the club a couple of months prior to Martinez’s signing.
During his time at Villa, the ‘keeper has made 82 appearances, in which he has conceded 106 goals and kept 26 clean sheets. He has averaged a solid 6.97 rating from WhoScored for his performances this season, which ranks him as the top performer in Steven Gerrard’s side so far this campaign, where he has also been a ‘leader without the armband.’
Martinez caught the eye in Villa’s only league win of the season so far against Everton, with teammate and right-back Matty Cash singing his praises after the game.
“He (Martinez) normally buzzes off clean sheets. The first thing he said to me in the dressing room was: ‘I’m gutted we conceded’. He’s unbelievable. One of the best goalkeepers in the world. To have him there is really good for us. He has made so many big saves for us.”
At 30, Martinez still has plenty of years left at the top level, and Lange deserves a lot of credit for bringing him in on such a cheap deal two years ago.