Emiliano Martinez may have to wait until Aston Villa’s clash with Wolves next week to make his Premier League comeback.
The World Cup-winning goalkeeper on Friday completed his first training session with Villa since the tournament, where he enhanced his reputation by helping Argentina lift the trophy.
But barring a late change of mind, it is thought Villa boss Unai Emery was leaning towards sticking with Robin Olsen for Sunday’s clash with Tottenham in north London, given Martinez has been back at the club for such a short time.
Olsen played in the 3-1 defeat by Liverpool at Villa Park on Boxing Day and is likely to retain his spot in the starting XI despite a shaky display.
Asked about Martinez after that game, Emery said: ‘He is going to be available physically and his mentality we are going to check.
‘Hopefully he is coming 100 per cent focused on Aston Villa. Of course he needs to adapt quickly again in our work.
‘When Emiliano is coming back (he has) to adapt again in a new way with us.’
Villa face Wolves just three days after taking on Spurs and unless Emery changes his plan, that appears the likely return date for Martinez at this stage.
Emery had also planned to speak to Martinez, 30, about his controversial celebrations in Qatar.
Emery also confirmed that he planned to discuss Martinez’s antics in the wake of the final with his vice-captain.
Martinez made an obscene gesture after being awarded the Golden Glove for the tournament’s best keeper, and continued to bait France star Kylian Mbappe in the days that followed.
Nonetheless, Martinez established himself as one of the best goalkeepers on the planet in Qatar and his imminent return to action is a huge boost to Emery as he tried to lead Villa up the table.