Emi Martinez of Aston Villa facing 7,000 mile race to shock Wolves
Martinez will fly to international service after tomorrow’s trip to Tottenham following a deal between the government and the Premier League that will allow vaccinated players returning from Red List countries to avoid hotel quarantine .
The timing of the third and final South American qualifiers is still a problem at Villa, with Argentina hosting Peru in the early hours of Friday October 15 UK time.
But Smith suggested yesterday that Martinez could still feature when they host Wolves at 3 p.m. the next day. The goalkeeper is expected to make the 7,000 mile trip from Buenos Aires to Birmingham in a private jet.
Asked if Villa could ask Martinez to play only in Argentina’s first two qualifiers, in order to make an earlier comeback, Smith replied: “There have been discussions but as far as I know, he will be available for all three games (Argentina) but also available for our first return leg, that’s my understanding.
He continued: “Emi came back from Croatia the day before Everton’s game. He played pretty well in that game, so we definitely know he can do it.
The relaxation of the rules of the red list also allows Marvelous Nakamba and Bertrand Traoré to join Zimbabwe and Burkina Faso respectively. All three Villa players are believed to be fully vaccinated.
Martinez spent 10 days training in Croatia and missed last month’s 3-0 loss to Chelsea in order to avoid a hotel quarantine.
Under the new guidelines, players will be required to self-quarantine at ‘bespoke facilities’ for 10 days upon their return to the UK. They will be allowed to leave quarantine once a day to train or play.
“We have worked closely with the football authorities to achieve a result that balances the interests of the club and the country while maintaining the highest levels of public health and safety,” said a government spokesperson.
“Our best defense against the virus is vaccination and these new measures will allow fully vaccinated players to perform their international duties in the safest and most convenient way possible, while allowing them to train and play with their clubs. as soon as possible upon their return. “