By Paul Robinson

4th Jan, 2021 | 4:00pm

'He's A Good Friend Of Mine'- Exclusive: Pundit drops Villa 'Dressing Room' claim after sighting

Paul Robinson has insisted his “good friend” Tom Heaton will be relishing the competition for the Aston Villa number one jersey.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Spurs and England goalkeeper claimed it is clear from what he’s seen that current number one Emiliano Martinez has settled in very well after his summer move from Arsenal.

The 28-year-old has kept eight clean sheets in the Premier League this season, the most in the division.

Villa’s defensive record this campaign is in stark contrast to last term when they ended the season with the second-most goals conceded in the top-flight.

“I think Martinez has done outstandingly well since he’s gone there,” Robinson told Football Insider.

“But I think he’s playing in a team that has evolved since last season. You look at Aston Villa now compared to where they were last season.

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“Tom Heaton has had a really unfortunate injury, a good friend of mine and somebody I rate very, very highly. I’m sure he’ll be relishing the competition now he’s back fit and he’ll be trying to get the gloves back.

Martinez at the moment looks an integral part to what Villa do.

“I saw him after one of the games they were having a huddle and they were delighted with the result and he seemed to be a key component to instigating the huddle, instigating the team spirit.

“He’s obviously gone into the dressing room and settled into the dressing room very well, he’s got a status in the dressing room.

“His performances have earned him that if you like. He seems to be an outstanding signing by Dean Smith.

“His performances week in, week out, not just his shot-stopping but his delivery off the floor, he seems to be comfortable in his box, he has a demanding of his area, he talks to his defence and the defenders have a lot of confidence in him.

In other news, Aston Villa have been tipped to agree a contract with a sensation after Euro giants move.