Arsenal confirm third exit for 2020/21

English Premier League

Arsenal have confirmed the sale of goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez to fellow Premier League side Aston Villa.

Martinez joins Villa on a four-year deal for a reported figure of £20 million (R422 million), subject to the completion of regulatory processes.

The 28-year-old spent ten years with Arsenal after joining from Independiente in 2010, spread across six loan spells elsewhere, and made 39 appearances for the club in total, including a starring role in last season's FA Cup Final victory over Chelsea.

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Villa boss Dean Smith was quick to share his enthusiasm for Martinez's arrival and praised the former Argentina youth international's performances from last season, when he featured in place of injured first-choice goalkeeper Bernd Leno.

"We are really pleased with the signing of our new goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez. We know how highly Arsenal rated him and we watched his outstanding performances last season in a trophy-winning top side," Smith told Aston Villa's website.

"We moved for Emi when we saw the opportunity, as it is rare to be able to buy a top-class goalkeeper who hasn’t yet reached their peak age and who can therefore be a key player for our Club for the long term."

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Martinez also shared a parting message of gratitude to Mikel Arteta's side, who he credited with making him the player he is today.

"Thank you, thank you for all of the years [of support]," Martinez told following his departure. 

"I thank God for having the opportunity over the past few months to show the Arsenal fanbase what I am made of, and why I went on loan so many times. It was always to come back and win them trophies and give them silverware. I did it, I feel prouder than ever. 

"They made me as a goalkeeper; not just the club, not just my goalkeeping coaches but the fans as well because they supported me, gave me the confidence to perform as well and I wish them all the best and hope they win many, many trophies. Thank you. That’s all I can say."

He becomes the Gunners' third departure this season, after Konstantinos Mavropanos joined VfB Stuttgart on loan and Henrikh Mkhitaryan signed a permanent deal with AS Roma.

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