By Paul Robinson

15th Dec, 2020 | 12:07pm

'Brilliant' - Exclusive: Robinson in awe of Villa '20 signing amid 'Big' dressing room claim

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez is “a big part of the dressing room” at Villa Park, according to Paul Robinson.

The 41-times England international, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, hailed the “outstanding” 28-year-old for his impact both on and off the field this season.

Martinez has started all 10 of Aston Villa’s Premier League fixtures this season, keeping five clean sheets – the joint best of any goalkeeper in the division.

The Argentinian shot-stopper was signed from Arsenal for a fee of £17million in September and penned a four-year contract at Villa Park.

Robinson claimed that Martinez is “key” to the morale of Dean Smith’s side.

“As much as I think Tom Heaton will get back in and push for the number one spot and a place in the England squad I think Martinez has been outstanding,” he told Football Insider.

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“He was brilliant again against Wolves, some of the saves he made at the weekend were top class.

“He also seems key to the squad morale. You could see after the game with the way the squad integrated with each other that he is a big part of that dressing room.

“He has done really well since coming in and Dean Smith deserves credit for signing Martinez. A lot of credit is due for the way that squad and starting eleven has been rebuilt.” 

Heaton has been stepping up his recovery from a knee injury this month with another appearance for Villa’s Under-23 side.

He has now played three games in Premier League 2 since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament 12 months ago.

In other news, Kevin Phillips has told Football Insider Aston Villa teenager may be the next Wayne Rooney.