By Villa News Speaking to Dan Bardell

25th Mar, 2023 | 8:10am

Aston Villa transfer on cards for new goalkeeper - Sky Sports journalist

Although Emi Martinez has moved from strength to strength since Unai Emery’s arrival at Aston Villa, his deputy, Robin Olsen, has seen his stock fall dramatically.

The Swedish international was given a run of games by Emery after the Qatar World Cup while Martinez took some time off, but the keeper failed to live up to expectations, conceding seven goals from three outings.

Even prior to this vote of confidence by Emery, the goalkeeper made a costly mistake in the second half of the Carabao Cup loss to Manchester United, where his pass was intercepted by Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes, before the Portuguese international saw his deflected strike find the back of the net.

What was more worrying during this period was the 33-year-old discomfort at playing out from the back and his lack of accuracy when playing simple passes to defenders on either side of him.

And although Olsen has been scarcely used since the New Year, the second-choice goalkeeping position could become an important figure if Martinez were to leave over the coming seasons.

Olsen’s glaring weakness in possession of the ball, combined with the war chest that Emery is expected to be given by Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris this summer, could spell the end of his stint as an Aston Villa player.

Speaking exclusively to Villa News, Sky Sports and The Athletic’s Dan Bardell admitted he thought Aston Villa would search the summer transfer market for a goalkeeper more suited to Emery’s needs.

He said: “I think Villa will buy a back-up keeper in the summer who is a little more suited to having the ball at his feet.

“It is clear that Olsen is not relatively comfortable with the ball.

“He’s an experienced international, he’s a great shot-stopper and he’s great around the dressing room, but I just think that you need a second keeper who can do what the manager wants.

“Emi Martinez has struggled with it at points, but he’s there now and understands what Emery needs from him on the ball.

“I don’t think Villa will have a rookie keeper as number two next season, so I think they will be in the market for one this summer.”

In recent months, Emery’s match-day squad has consisted of three goalkeepers, with 21-year-old Vijami Sinisalo joining Olsen and Martinez on a weekly basis.

However, whether the academy graduate could make the step up to become a first-team regular is still questionable, and, as such, Villa could be very likely to go shopping for a new back-up goalkeeper this summer.

In other Aston Villa news, the future of this loanee hangs in the balance as contract talks await.