Emiliano Martinez feeling the love after his Aston Villa switch

Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez claims he is ‘in love with football, like never before’ after joining Villa.

Aston Villa's Emiliano Martinez
Aston Villa's Emiliano Martinez

The 28-year-old arrived at Villa Park last month from Arsenal in a deal which could eventually be worth £20million.

Martinez has enjoyed an excellent start to life with Villa, saving a penalty against Sheffield United on debut and helping Dean Smith’s team win their first three Premier League matches.

After a decade spent largely on the bench with the Gunners, the Argentine claims he is currently driven by a desire to repay Villa’s trust.

“I didn’t always feel part of it (at Arsenal),” said Martinez, who is currently away on international duty. “We won trophies but I was on the bench or just in the squad.

“I’m not trying to prove anyone wrong, I just want to prove that Villa did the right thing by showing that trust in me.

“Before I signed the contract, I breathed deeply and said no matter what happens, I will never look back.

“I rejected a lot of clubs and then, in my first game, I saved a penalty and had a man of the match performance.

“That is where I’m at now. I told my wife just the other day, I feel like I’m so in love with football again, like I’ve never known before.”

Martinez enjoyed a strong finish to last season with Arsenal and played in this term’s Community Shield but wanted assurances he would be No.1

“I thought if I played well that game, I would be No 1, but afterwards it still wasn’t clear who was going to start in the league,” he said.

“I was told that there was a 95 per cent chance I would start against Fulham (on the first day of the season), but I just thought, ‘why not 100 per cent?’ Something didn’t feel right. Everyone wanted me to stay, but that’s when I decided to go.”

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