By Gabriel Agbonlahor

17th Feb, 2021 | 6:00pm

Agbonlahor: I was 'shocked' by Martinez fee but Villa man is best in the league

Gabby Agbonlahor claims Aston Villa stopper Emiliano Martinez has been the best goalkeeper in the Premier League this season.

The former Villa forward, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted that he has been proved wrong by Martinez after initially being “shocked” by his transfer fee.

Martinez moved to Villa Park from Arsenal in the summer after impressing at the end of last season as the Gunners’ stand-in number one.

Injury to Bernd Leno saw Martinez start in last season’s FA Cup final as he helped his former side to 2-1 win over Chelsea.

The Guardian claim Villa paid £20million for Martinez’s services in the summer and this reported fee led to serious doubts from Agbonlahor.

“When he first came in I was a bit shocked at the transfer fee because I hadn’t seen too much of him,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams.

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“But since the first game he’s looked so comfortable with the ball at his feet and playing out from the back. 

“He’s such a big presence as well, he can save shots that other keepers just won’t be able to get to. 

“For me, he’s had one bad game, he made a couple of mistakes in that West Ham game a few weeks ago. 

“Apart from that, he’s been nothing short of outstanding and the best keeper in the Premier League this season.”

Martinez has kept 12 clean sheets in 22 Premier League games this season which is only bettered by Manchester City’s Ederson who has 14.

After drawing with Brighton last time out, Dean Smith’s side welcome Leicester City to Villa Park on Sunday looking to get back to winning ways in the league.

In other Aston Villa news, this pundit has tipped Edens and Sawiris to fund another Villa summer spending spree in 2021.