It was only ever City for Martin

CHRIS LAKEY Chris Martin says there was never any doubt in his mind that he was going to commit himself to Norwich City.


Chris Martin says there was never any doubt in his mind that he was going to commit himself to Norwich City.

The 18-year-old striker ended any speculation over his future by signing his first contract, a three-and-a-half-year deal which is reportedly one of the best ever offered by the club to a teenager.

“I don't think there was ever any uncertainty from my point of view,” said Martin. “I thought I was always going to sign a contract, it was just a matter of getting the right deal and getting it all sorted out and getting the bits sorted.”

Martin broke into the first team at the end of January, and five goals in his first nine games immediately prompted speculation that Manchester United were keeping an eye on his progress.

However, Beccles-born Martin confirmed yesterday that he was never aware of any outside interest.

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“No, I don't think there was - I was always going to sign here and it was just a matter of time,” he said.

“Obviously I am a very proud man at the moment - delighted to have signed it and got it out of the way so I can concentrate on playing my football now.”

Manager Peter Grant had hoped to give Martin a rest from the Championship, but the youngster, not surprisingly, was of the opposite opinion.

“Maybe - but I want to start every game and I want to play every single game and I want to play in as many as I can so I would be happy playing all the games to be honest,” he said.

Nor is he happy to put his feet up in the summer - not when he has England Under-19 fixtures to look forward to.

“There are Championship qualifiers so hopefully I will be in contention to play in those games as well,” added Martin, who scored the only goal of the game against Turkey on his debut last month.

“I definitely want to be playing - obviously it is good to have a rest but I'd prefer to be playing.”

Martin's first task is to get back on the scoring trail against Hull today after four games without hitting the back of the net.

“I've not been having a lot of luck, but hopefully the next few games I can get a lot of goals,” he said. “Obviously they (Hull) are a very tough fixture, they are fighting down the bottom of the league, but they are a good side and they have hit a good run of form recently. So it is going to be a tough game for us and I think it is one we can go and win.”

Martin will continue to live in the same digs he shared with other Academy players before his big break and he hasn't yet planned a visit to a car dealership.

Those tasks will come eventually, but for the moment, the only target is in the game that has brought him big rewards.

“To carry on playing for the first team and to score as many as I can and to play as well as I can really,” he said. “And then see how it comes next season.”

Professional Footballers' Association number two Mick McGuire, who represented Martin in his contract negotiations hailed player and club as “the perfect match”.

“I am delighted that Chris has signed his contract and committed himself to Norwich City,” said McGuire, a former Canaries skipper. “It ensures his future with the club, and the club have secured his services.

“The fact that it is over a three-year period gives him ample opportunity to develop his game in an environment that clearly suits him. He's a local lad, so I''s clear he and Norwich City are the perfect match.

“I'm very pleased with the contract he's now signed, which is for the rest of this season and three more years. There was never any doubt that Chris was looking to commit his future to the club.”