The Lowdown: Martinez on the cusp of glory
The 30-year-old is enjoying a magnificent 2022 World Cup campaign for Argentina, playing a huge role in them reaching Sunday’s final against France in Qatar.
Martinez has started all six of his country’s matches at the tournament, proving to be the penalty hero in the shootout win over the Netherlands in the quarter-finals.
Away from World Cup action, however, the Argentine is being linked with a move away from Villa.
The Latest: Bayern move mooted?
“The serious injury to Manuel Neuer has put Bayern in a very difficult situation for which they can do nothing. Bayern are buying themselves time with a possible Nübel return. I think they should sign a goalkeeper who is then guaranteed a real chance to stay in goal after Neuer’s return, if he earns it with good performances in the coming months.
“The questions are: Will Neuer return and if so, how? The performances have already not been what they used to be lately. He didn’t hold up well at the World Cup either.
“At 36 and soon to be 37, it is an enormous ordeal to slog through months of rehab. If the Bayern bosses think that they are now going to get a keeper who has the potential to guard the Bayern goal for years to come, they could also think of Argentine international Emiliano Martinez from Aston Villa or look into the Croatian goalkeeper.”
The Verdict: Can’t lose him in January
Martinez has been an influential figure for Villa since joining from Arsenal, replicating his international form – Pablo Zabaleta has described him as a ‘hero’ – so it would be a huge blow to see him depart in January.
Should Villa move for Conor Gallagher?
It would have the potential to derail Unai Emery’s plans, such is his importance, and give the club little time to find a replacement who is even close to his level.
The hope is that Martinez remains at Villa until at least next summer – should an offer arrive from a huge club at that point, it would be hard to have too much of an issue with him leaving.