Exclusive: Darren Bent 'Gutted' as Aston Villa finalise blockbuster signing
Arsenal fan Darren Bent would be “gutted” to see goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez join Aston Villa.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Villa striker also said Martinez has earned his chance to be a number one after his impressive performances for Arsenal last season.
Football Insider revealed that the Argentine has completed a medical with Villa who will pay Arsenal an initial £17million for his services.
Villa will triple the 28-year-old’s Arsenal wages and are set to pay him £75,000-a-week.
Martinez was left out of Arsenal’s squad for their 3-0 win over Fulham in their Premier League opener on Saturday.
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has made the goalkeeping position his top priority this window as Tom Heaton continues to recover from a knee injury that has already kept him out for nine months.
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Asked by Football Insider whether he would be disappointed to see Martinez leave Arsenal, Bent said: “Yes, because in the Premier League I think you need two very good goalkeepers and I think we had that in Martinez and Bernd Leno.
“But, I think he has earned the right to be somebody’s number one because he has been absolutely superb for Arsenal in the last few months while Leno was out.
“He made saves, he was big, he was strong and to sit back on Arsenal’s bench, as much as I’d love to see him stay because you need two very good goalkeepers, he has certainly earned the right to be a number one.
“I’ll be gutted to see him go, but I wish him all the best.”
In other Aston Villa news, Kevin Phillips has been left wowed by ‘exceptional’ new Villa recruit after a deal is completed.