Hammers to sign Spanish striker

Promising forward Toni Martinez will join West Ham United from Valencia CF in July 2016
West Ham United are delighted to announce the signing of promising Spanish forward Toni Martinez from Valencia CF.

The 18-year-old striker has been a prolific scorer throughout his time with Los Che, netting more than 100 times over the past four seasons.

The Spain U17 international will join the Hammers on a three-year contract on 1 July 2016, but Valencia have kindly given the 18-year-old permission to train with his future teammates immediately to help him to settle in England.

The Murcia-born frontman, who was also part of the Spain U19 squad which ultimately won the 2015 UEFA European Championship title, is looking forward to linking up with West Ham this summer.

“For me, it’s a great opportunity to be here and I hope to make the most of being at such a big club,” said Martinez, who will celebrate his 19th birthday in June.

“I joined West Ham because of the progress that the club is making. The decision to come here was made because it is a brilliant opportunity to join an interesting club in the Premier League.”
Martinez featured eight times for Valencia in the UEFA Youth League this season, scoring once and recording three assists as his side reached the Round of 16 before being eliminated on penalties by Chelsea.

And it is a former Blues striker that the teenager models his game on – Atletico Madrid and Spain star Fernando Torres.

Having agreed to follow in Torres’ footsteps and move to London, Martinez has hopes of making his own name in the Premier League.

“I am a striker and usually get compared to Fernando Torres,” he confirmed. “I am a striker, but I also like getting back and playing as part of the team.

“The Premier League is well considered across the world and in Spain, we believe that it is one of the best leagues in the world. This is a fantastic opportunity and I am fulfilling a lifelong dream by signing for one of the big clubs in the Premier League.”

While Martinez will initially join Terry Westley’s Development Squad, Martinez has long-term ambitions of forcing his way into the first-team squad at the Club’s new home.

West Ham move to the 60,000-capacity Stadium on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford this summer, and the new boy harbours hopes of running out there in a Claret and Blue shirt before too long.

“The prospect of playing in front of 60,000 people next year really catches my attention, and it is a Stadium that has so much history,” he concluded. “I am hoping to be able to get the opportunity to do that and I hope that it will be soon.”