Paul Robinson has tipped his former teammate Tom Heaton to regain the number one jersey off new Aston Villa signing Emiliano Martinez when he returns from injury.
The former Spurs and Leeds United shot-stopper, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, was “surprised” by the price Villa paid for Martinez, 28, given his lack of regular first team football.
Villa confirmed the signing of Martinez last week after Football Insider revealed that a £17million plus add-ons bid had been accepted by the Gunners.
He was the hero on debut against Sheffield United on Monday, saving a John Lundstram’s penalty to ensure Dean Smith’s side collected all three points in a 1-0 win.
Heaton was last season’s first-choice goalkeeper but has been sidelined since New Year’s Day with a knee injury – he is expected to return next month.
When asked by Football Insider how Heaton, whom he played with at Burnley, would react to the signing, Robinson said: “Tom has had a really tough injury.
“It has been a really hard injury for him. It has been a bad one and it is going to take him a while to get back to the level he was at.
“Martinez has been told there’s an opportunity to start as number one. It will be up to him now to keep hold of the gloves.
“Nobody is guaranteed the number one spot. We have seen that with Kepa at Chelsea.
“Villa had to sign a goalkeeper after they lost Pepe Reina.
“In my opinion they have paid a lot of money for Martinez, a keeper that has not played a lot of first team football. I was surprised that they paid £20million for him.
“Tom will get back, Tom will be fit again and when he gets his chance he will take back the gloves and become number one.”
In other Aston Villa news, Darren Bent suggests John Terry played crucial role in new signing.