Aston Villa have “been crying out for” a goalkeeper like Emiliano Martinez for a number of years, insists Alan Hutton.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Villa and Scotland star admits he was blown away by the 28-year-old’s debut performance against Sheffield United on Monday night.

The summer signing saved a penalty and kept a clean sheet to help the Villans to a 1-0 win in their first Premier League game of the new season.

Hutton could not sing the shot-stopper’s praises enough after his standout performance and admits that a top-quality goalkeeper is someoneVilla have been missing for some time.

“I thought he was brilliant, so calming,” Hutton told Football Insider.

“Some back passes were fired at him, a couple of bombs he had to deal with but nice touch, no problem, nice and calm, playing out, talking to his back four – a big, commanding voice, you could hear him while you were watching, coming for crosses.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“He literally did everything that a top goalkeeper should do. We saw him last season, we knew how good he was when he came into the Arsenal squad, I think we were all surprised that they let him leave because I thought he would push Bernd Leno this year for the number one spot.

“It shows you the character that he is that he wants to go out on his own and be a number one. Villa have given him that chance and oh my word, did he take it? They have been crying out for someone like this for quite a while.”

Martinez played just 38 times in his 10-year spell on Arsenal’s books, although he spent time out on loan across the Football League.

Villa now have five senior goalkeepers among their ranks, with Martinez joined by Tom Heaton, Jed Steer, Orjan Nyland and Lovre Kalinic.

In other Aston Villa news, Derby County and Preston North End have made approaches for a first-team attacker.