'I can’t wait to work with Pellegrini' - Martin excited by West Ham opportunity

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IAN KINGTON
The experienced goalkeeper is moving to the London Stadium from Millwall and the switch will also see him reunited with Xavi Valero

David Martin is confident he can learn from West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini after the goalkeeper agreed to join his boyhood idols on a two-year contract.

Pellegrini guided West Ham to their first top-10 Premier League finish since 2016 in his first season in charge of the club, and the former Real Madrid and Manchester City boss is busy building his squad for next term.

Experienced goalkeeper Martin will arrive from Millwall in the summer and he is excited by the opportunity to work with someone of the Chilean’s calibre.

Martin told the club’s official website: “I can’t wait to work with someone like Manuel Pellegrini. He has so much experience and I can learn so much from him.

“I know him from his time at Manchester City, his calibre as a manager and what he did here last year. It wasn’t easy to come to a big club like this and turn in that style of football and bring in so many new signings.”

Martin will join Lukasz Fabianski and other new signing Roberto Jimenez as the squad’s goalkeepers for the 2019-20 season.

Fabianski joined the club from Swansea in the summer of 2018 and was named ‘Hammer of the Year’ in his debut campaign, while Roberto arrives from Espanyol on a two-year deal.

Martin is looking forward to the challenge of battling for a place in the team, however, the 33-year-old understands the threat the two other keepers will pose.

He added: “I’ve always been an enthusiastic person and I never know when I’m beaten, so I’ll always go into training every day with that attitude and I will compete with Lukasz and Roberto.

“I remember Roberto from being at Zaragoza and he’s been at a few clubs since then. We’re a very similar age and it will be good to go up against him in training and compete with him.

“It goes without saying how good Lukasz is. He’s proven himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League last season, so to go up against them and try to improve will be great.”

David Martin Millwall 2018-19

The move to West Ham will also provide Martin with the chance to work with goalkeeping coach Xavi Valero again after the pair spent three years together at Liverpool.

Martin believes he can develop as a player even further, and thinks he is in the best possible hands to do so with Valero as his coach.

“I worked with Xavi Valero at Liverpool and he’s probably one of the best goalkeeping coaches in the world,” he continued.

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“Since then he’s been at Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Napoli. I’m looking forward to seeing what he’s picked up, experience-wise.

“He’s a great man and he’s at the cutting edge of goalkeeping. Sometimes you can have the best training in the world but you need someone to pick the faults in your game so you can improve, and he goes into the finer details.

“I think that’s what sometimes makes the best Premier League goalkeepers, those finer details. To learn from him will be a real honour once again.”

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