Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Agbonlahor Left Impressed By This Aston Villa Player’s Impact: Can He Maintain His Good Form?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent interview with Football Insider, former Premier League forward Gabriel Agbonlahor has revealed that he has been left impressed by Aston Villa keeper Emiliano Martínez’s impact at Villa Park since arriving from Arsenal. Agbonlahor said, “I was quite shocked when it when it was done, the transfer.

“I was like: ‘Ugh, we could use that money somewhere else, you know, got a couple of okay keepers but I don’t think people realise that what a top keeper does to you.

“I mean like, maybe 10 years ago when I was playing it was like: ’The keeper will be alright as long as he can do a couple saves,’ spend the money on an attacker.

“But with Martinez it’s like the way he can play up on the ball. I’ve seen some balls rapped into him and his control, his playing from the back, he’s composed and that’s a big thing in football now so I think the price we’ve got him is a steal because there’s a lot of clubs in the Premier League that would love to have him in their team.

“Some of the saves he’s been making have been like outrageous and for me Aston Villa have needed a keeper with authority. And, you know, he’s a he’s a big guy as well.”

Martinez’s Impressive Start To Life At Villa Park

The 28-year-old has already begun to catch the eye with his performances for the West Midlands outfit this season. The Argentine shot-stopper has made seven appearances for Dean Smith’s side this term, conceding nine goals and earning four clean sheets in the Premier League so far.

Martinez is averaging 8.3 long balls per game in league football but has been quite inaccurate when distributing the ball out from the back after completing 57.3% of his attempted passes in the English top-flight (stats via whoscored).

Agbonlahor left impressed by Villa goalie Martinez's impact (Martinez is celebrating with his teammates in the photo)
Emiliano Martinez, Ross Barkley, Jack Grealish, Bertrand Traore and Tyrone Mings of Aston Villa celebrate following their sides victory in the Premier League match between Leicester City and Aston Villa at The King Power Stadium on October 18, 2020, in Leicester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Jon Super – Pool/Getty Images)

What Are The Argentine Goalie’s Best Attributes?

Martinez possesses quick reflexes that allow him to make some world-class stops at the back. Standing at 1.95m, he can be a towering presence in between the sticks and is also a decent handler of the ball when he is coming to collect crosses from the opposition.

The Argentine sensation is usually quite good with his positioning as well but can sometimes give away the ball cheaply, especially when he is being closed down by the opposition.

Can Martinez Maintain His Good Form In The Premier League?

At 28, Martinez is playing at his prime right now and is only going to get better with each year. The way things are going for him at the moment, there is no reason why he can’t continue to perform at a high level for Aston Villa.

With Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa both giving a good account of themselves ahead of the Argentine shot-stopper, Smith will be confident that his side can maintain their high standards when the Premier League resumes after the international break.

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