Arsenal have an ongoing goalkeeper situation to solve this summer, with Bernd Leno linked with a move away from the Emirates and both Andre Onana and Aaron Ramsdale rumoured to replace him.
It remains to be seen how the Gunners will tackle the predicament, but it is reasonable to suggest that such a problem began to materialise around a year ago after the decision was made to sell Emi Martinez.
The 28-year-old was allowed to join Aston Villa for a fee in the region of £17million last summer, and he’s since progressed to become one of the top performers in England, with his long campaign concluding at the Copa America right now.
The South American tournament will end this weekend as Argentina face Brazil in the final, with Martinez largely responsible for the progression of the former due to his penalty shootout heroics against Columbia overnight.
Of the five penalties he faced, Martinez saved three, allowing his country to progress after winning by three goals to two in the shootout.
The Premier League showings of the ex-Gunners keeper have been equally as notable since his move; he was responsible for picking up plenty of points for Villa last season.
It is difficult to truly capture the influence of a goalkeeper, but Expected Goals (xG) can be applied in order to gauge some form of understanding.
xG offers an insight into the likelihood of an attempt being scored by considering aspects such as shot location, and it tends to provide an accurate summary of whether a team deserved fewer or more goals based on their shots.
Post-shot xG can be applied to goalkeepers as it specifically focuses on shots that hit the target and takes into account the quality and trajectory of the shot, thus relating to shot-stopping.
Martinez was expected to concede around 52.4 goals in England’s top-flight based on the shots on target he faced last season, but he actually shipped just 47, excluding own goals.
That essentially means he’s saved shots to an above-average standard, overperforming expectation by an impressive 7.4 goals, which was bettered by only Fulham’s Alphonse Areola on 7.6.
Premier League supporters were welcomed back to grounds across the country towards the end of last season and hope reigns eternal that the 2021/22 season will go by without disruptions.
Memberships are available, which reduces the prices for tickets bought thereafter. A full breakdown of how much tickets cost for Category A, B and C games can be found here.
Leno also overperformed with his shot-stopping by 4.1 goals, as did Ramsdale by 1.9 goals, but neither of those managed to get close to the standard of Martinez.
One year earlier for Bournemouth, Ramsdale performed almost exactly in line with expectation; he faced shots on target worth 61.7 goals and proceedings to concede 62, which indicates that he’s likely to be an average shot-stopper.
Martinez – by contrast – could be something more based on the evidence showcased since his emergence last year, with Arsenal potentially regretting his sale given their current transfer dilemma.