The report claims that the club could swoop to sign the former Sunderland shot-stopper this month if Martinez ends up sealing a big-money exit from Villa Park.
It is stated that Pickford’s current contract standoff with the Toffees has alerted interested parties and Chelsea could rival Unai Emery’s side to his signature.
Villa boss Emery would endure his first transfer disaster in charge of the club if he greenlights a move to sign Pickford in the event of Martinez leaving this month.
The £100k-per-week stopper was once criticised as a “liability” by pundit Jamie Smith and his statistics back that up. Since joining Everton in the summer of 2017, Pickford has conceded 3.0 more goals than the average goalkeeper would be expected to let in from the quality of shots against him in the Premier League.
These statistics indicate that Smith was right to describe him as a liability as he is underperforming as a shot-stopper and is letting his defence down by allowing too many shots to beat him.
Martinez, meanwhile, has saved 2.9 more goals than the average goalkeeper would be expected to since the start of the 2019/20 Premier League campaign with Arsenal.
The Argentine monster also ranks in the 99th percentile among his positional peers for the percentage of crosses stopped over the last 365 days in Europe’s top five leagues, cutting out 11.2% of the crosses into his box.
Pickford, on the other hand, is in the 22nd percentile by stopping 3.9% of crosses in the top flight over the last year, which suggests that he is considerably worse at commanding his area in comparison to the Villa man.
Couple that with the stark contrast in their shot-stopping quality in the Premier League and it appears as though the signing of Pickford would be a disaster for Villa as he would be a major downgrade on Martinez between the sticks.
Emery must do everything in his power to convince the current number one to remain at Villa Park. However, if he does depart then the Spaniard, alongside NSWE, must identify an alternative target to Pickford by finding a goalkeeper who is not significantly underperforming in key areas.