By Sam Stone

12th Feb, 2023 | 4:50pm

View: Aston Villa defence cannot solely rely on Emi Martinez after goal stat revealed

Aston Villa keeper Emi Martinez has enjoyed a historic season to date after playing an instrumental role in Argentina’s memorable World Cup win in Qatar.

The former Arsenal man pulled off some magical saves and produced some vital penalty shoot-out moments to help the South American giants, and Lionel Messi, pick up the greatest accolade in the game.

The 30-year-old clearly enjoyed himself after the tournament, and caused a stir with some of his celebrations, particularly back home in Buenos Aires.

Since the World Cup, Martinez has returned to the Premier League side and featured in four matches, which have resulted in two wins, a draw and one defeat. However, in those four matches, the 30-year-old has conceded 0.5 of a goal more per 90 minutes than before the World Cup (Wyscout).

Martinez’s season average was 1.19 per 90 minutes, so what has seen the sharp rise occur? Obviously, the heavy defeat to Leicester didn’t help, but it’s important to look at some of his other statistics.

Firstly, Martinez has been facing more shots since his return from the World Cup. Villa are allowing 1.5 more shots per 90 min, which could well be an indication of why they’ve conceded more goals.

However, the Argentine cannot be to blame for this. In fact, his save percentage has risen dramatically since his return. In the four matches, his saves success rate is 85 per cent, which is nearly 20 per cent higher than his season average.

Furthermore, Martinez has also been facing a higher quality of chance, which means blame should be shifted towards Aston Villa’s defenders. The quality of chance Villa are giving up has increased by 0.3.

Although it’s only marginal, it’s impressive to see Martinez maintain an exceptionally high save success rate. Throughout the season, the Argentine has been largely protected by his defence and it’s important for Unai Emery to ensure his backline remains watertight throughout the remainder of the campaign.

The World Cup winner has been trying his absolute hardest to maintain his high levels of performance in terms of save success rate, but he can only be expected to do so much if the Villans’ defence wilts slightly.

Under Emery, Villa have proven themselves to be a relatively mean defence. It’s been the catalyst for many of their wins. Martinez has been vitally important but he cannot be relied upon up too much. It’s now up to Emery to identify why his side are are giving up an increased number of chances and shots on goal and rectify it in the coming weeks.

The Villans are in a relatively comfortable position in the Premier League which allows the Emery to experiment slightly and get his side in the best shape for when the 2023/24 campaign gets underway.

In other Aston Villa news, the club are set to revive interest in an Athletic Bilbao player in the summer after a failed January swoop.