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Martinez completes £20m Villa transfer with emotional good bye

Aston Villa have completed the signing of Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez for a fee believed to be around £20m.

The 28-year-old shot-stopper has signed a five-year deal at Villa Park.

Martinez helped Arsenal to FA Cup victory last season and Community Shield glory last month, but Mikel Arteta is going with Bernd Leno as his number one.

Villa boss Dean Smith said: “We are really pleased with the signing of our new goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

“We know how highly Arsenal rated him and we watched his outstanding performances last season in a trophy-winning top side.“We moved for Emi when we saw the opportunity, as it is rare to be able to buy a top-class goalkeeper who hasn’t yet reached their peak age and who can therefore be a key player for our club for the long term.”

Arsenal describe Martinez “a hugely popular figure around the club” and he goes with their blessing.

The Gunners reported that the Argentine goalkeeper joined Aston Villa on Monday, as they released an emotional farewell interview.

“Thank you, thank you for all of the years [of support],” Martinez told “I thank God for having the opportunity over the past few months to show the Arsenal fanbase what I am made of, and why I went on loan so many times.

“It was always to come back and win them trophies and give them silverware. I did it, I feel prouder than ever.

“They made me as a goalkeeper; not just the club, not just my goalkeeping coaches but the fans as well because they supported me, gave me the confidence to perform as well and I wish them all the best and hope they win many, many trophies. Thank you. That’s all I can say.”

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READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Arsenal make bid for Championship star to replace Martinez

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