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Aston Villa: Luke Hatfield admits Emi Martinez transfer ‘worry’

Aston Villa: Luke Hatfield admits Emi Martinez transfer ‘worry’ -Aston Villa Transfer Rumours

Luke Hatfield is keeping his ‘fingers crossed’ that Aston Villa can fend off interest in Emiliano Martinez, who he called ‘one of the top goalkeepers in world football’.

The lowdown

The Daily Star‘s Harry Pratt reported over the Christmas weekend that the Argentine’s name featured on Manchester United’s shortlist of potential replacements for David de Gea, adding that the Red Devils are apparently willing to shell out £50m on a player Villa bought for only £20m last year.

They’re not the only Champions League club eyeing Martinez as a possible successor to their incumbent number one – Atletico Madrid reportedly view him as a worthy heir to Jan Oblak.

Villa fans voted the 29-year-old as their player of the year for 2021 in a recent poll carried out by The Birmingham Mail, and they’ve already seen one of their stars lured away in recent times, with Jack Grealish sealing a £100m switch to Manchester City in the summer.

The latest

Speaking to Give Me Sport, Hatfield suggested that interest in Martinez is inevitable, but he spotted something in the win over Crystal Palace in late November which left him hopeful that the Argentine is committed to the club.

The journalist outlined: “Martinez was one which was always kind of a little bit of a worry because of the performances he’s putting in have made him one of the top goalkeepers in world football at the moment.

“But his reaction to the Crystal Palace game when he went over to the fans and kissing the badge. I mean, it shows that players are enjoying playing for Villa at the moment and enjoying their time under Gerrard, so fingers crossed they can keep the group together.”

The verdict

If Villa can persuade Martinez to stay, Gerrard’s appointment may prove to be crucial. The club had slipped to 16th by the time Dean Smith was sacked earlier in the season after a worrying drift, but under the new boss they’ve climbed to 11th, their only defeats coming against the top three in the Premier League.

They now look like legitimate top-half contenders again, and some Villa correspondents are optimistic of a European push in the near future, so the club’s ambition may well please Martinez.

On an individual level, though, the Argentine wants to establish himself as the best goalkeeper in the world, and Gerrard needs to persuade the player that he can achieve that goal at Villa Park.

In other news, many Villa fans reacted to this update on a reported Gerrard target

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Article title: Aston Villa: Luke Hatfield admits Emi Martinez transfer ‘worry’

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