BBC pundit names ‘outstanding' star as Villa's Player of the Season so far... it's not Grealish

Sam Preston March 9, 2021
BBC pundit names ‘outstanding' star as Villa's Player of the Season so far... it's not Grealish
Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

BBC pundit Garth Crooks has named Aston Villa’s Emi Martinez in his team of the week once again.

Martinez kept another clean sheet as Villa drew 0-0 with Midlands rivals Wolves.

Crooks felt that Martinez’s save from Conor Coady was the defining moment in a game of few chances.

He went as far as to name him Villa’s player of the season – ahead of a certain Jack Grealish.

Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

“When your two centre-backs turn to their goalkeeper and hug him in response to a save, you can bet your bottom dollar that it’s the turning point in the game,” Crooks wrote.

“Wolves should have won this game based on the chance that presented itself to Conor Coady.

“The Wolves captain isn’t renowned for his clinical finishing but even he’s entitled to score a goal when in the six-yard box, unopposed with only the goalkeeper to beat. Enter Emiliano Martinez.

“The Argentine goalkeeper has been outstanding and, in my view, Aston Villa’s player of the season. No Argentine goalkeeper has more Premier League clean sheets than Martinez (20, level with Julian Speroni)”

Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Grealish is probably in the conversation for Player of the Year across the whole league.

So perhaps Crooks is getting slightly ahead of himself here, but there’s no doubt Martinez has had a great campaign.

He’s one of the signings of the season and has made a huge difference to a Villa side who struggled to settle on a regular goalkeeper last term.

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Sam Preston a senior football writer for the Boot Room and United in Focus. He is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist with five years of professional experience writing digital content. He studied with the Press Association and also has a 2:1 Law with French Law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Burnley, Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.