With long-serving West Ham United goalkeeper Adrian seemingly on his way out on a free this summer, it was obvious that the club would be bringing in an additional shot-stopper.
But two? That just seems excessive. Roberto’s signing was announced last week, with the player set to join up on July 1 once his Espanyol contract expires. However, the Hammers added another shot-stopper on Monday.
The club announced on their official website that soon-to-be free agent David Martin will also join in July after signing a two-year contract with an option for a further 12 months.
This decision beggars belief, though, and is surely based more on sentimentality than anything else. Martin is the son of Irons legend Alvin, but he himself is not of the calibre of his father.
Martin is arriving from the club’s fierce rivals Millwall, first of all, which makes the signing controversial in itself. Secondly, he wasn’t even first choice for the Lions.
Yes, this is purely a depth signing, but it’s surely an unnecessary one. Martin is unlikely to ever play much first team football, and in the years to come his presence will surely only slow the progress of the Hammers’ fantastic young ‘keepers.
It’s very unlikely that this deal ends up going well. Martin will probably merely serve as a drain on the club’s wage bill while better stoppers move ahead of him in the pecking order. This from a team who are seemingly keen to reduce their wage bill.
So it’s a strange one, and you wonder what this means for the likes of Roberto, Nathan Trott and Joseph Anang. Will the club live to regret this deal? It remains to be seen.