By Jonty Banks

17th Jun, 2023 | 5:30pm

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez lives up to Argentina hype as 60% clean sheet record continues

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez has continued his remarkable record for Argentina during the latest international break.

Martinez’s journey with the Argentina set-up has been nothing short of inspirational, playing a pivotal role in their World Cup victory in Qatar and subsequently winning the Golden Glove award.

His brilliant save in added-time of the World Cup final against France had Gary Neville gushing, labelling the Villa stopped a “world-class” player, before saving two penalties from the French in the spot-kicks that followed.

And after Aston Villa claimed European football on the final day of the season, with a hard-earned 2-1 win over Brighton, the goalkeeper has continued to deliver the goods on international duty.

Lionel Scaloni’s side stretched their winning run since the World Cup by beating Australia 2-0 in an international friendly on Thursday (15 June).

As shared by Aston Villa Statto on Twitter, this win means that Martinez has now kept 18 clean sheets from just 30 international appearances, at a 60% success rate.

The steps that the 30-year-old has taken in the last year are impressive, with the ex-Arsenal player adapting to Unai Emery’s sweeper-keeper needs and taking on the burden of building up play from the back.

According to the Opta-powered stats on FBREF, Martinez sits in the 97th percentile of his European counterparts for defensive actions outside the penalty area (2.09 per 90), coming at an average of 16.6 yards away from his goalline.

His commanding presence for La Albiceleste is also telling, with Martinez stopping an average of 1.72 crosses per 90 minutes, which is in the top 1% of European goalkeepers, while also attempting 33.57 passes per outing which is a huge increase on the 11.28 he averaged in the 2021/22 Premier League season.

The Argentine’s performances for both club and country have quickly seen him emerge as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, and this 60% clean sheet record is a just reward for his efforts.

In other Aston Villa news, the club has been backed to complete a £42million-plus transfer for an “outstanding” European player.