Toni Martinez is eyeing further first-team opportunities – and goals – after netting his first senior goal in Saturday’s 2-2 Betway Cup draw with Werder Bremen.
The Spaniard showed his predatory nature to bury an unstoppable header past Jiri Pavlenka to put the Hammers 2-1 up in Lohne, craning his neck to power the ball into the bottom corner.
After spending the entire pre-season with Slaven Bilic’s squad the 20-year-old, who scored 14 goals in 13 appearances for West Ham’s U23s last season, wants more of the same.
“I’m really happy to score my first goal with the first team,” said Martinez, whose goal came at the end of an impressive attacking move that saw the Hammers move the ball from one penalty area to another with dazzling speed. “It was a good cross from Andre Ayew and good play from Arthur Masuaku, so all I needed to do was put the ball in the back of the net.
“It’s amazing for me. It was a great game and we’re working hard to be strong for the first game in the Premier League. Now I’m going to keep working.
“We are enjoying the training camp a lot and I am happy to stay with the first team and I’m working hard for my opportunity. I wish I will get more opportunities this season but, for now, I am just trying to help the team and nothing more.”
Martinez’s transition to the first-team squad has been eased by the presence of a host of other native Spanish speakers, including new signings Pablo Zabaleta and Chicharito.
Indeed, the former Valencia youngster is hoping to learn more about the art of being a top-level centre forward from Mexico’s all-time leading scorer.
“It’s very easy for me because there are so many boys who speak Spanish and it’s very good for me,” he confirmed.
“Of course, I can learn a lot from Chicharito. He is one of my favourite strikers and I’m sure I’m going to learn too much from him.”