BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
HEARTS new boy Malaury Martin insists he cannot wait to return to the bear-pits of British football after becoming Ian Cathro’s third signing of the January transfer window.
The 28-year-old has penned a three-and-a-half year contract with the Jambos after leaving Norwegian top-flight side Lillestrom earlier this month.
The gifted play-maker boasts a classy pedigree after coming through the youth ranks of AS Monaco in his homeland and starring for France at every youth level between under-17 and under-21.
Martin also turned out for Lausanne-Sport in Switzerland and Sandnes Ulf of Norway – but he insists it was the raucous support he witnessed during his time in the UK with Blackpool and Middlesbrough that convinced him to make the switch to Scotland.
“The atmosphere in Britain is something special. I have played in different countries but, in my opinion, this is the best in Europe,” said Martin. “The passion of the people in the stadium give you all the motivation you need to be your best.
“I have had a great meeting with the manager [Ian Cathro], and I already knew about Hearts.
“I played for Middlesbrough and lived in Newcastle in the past, so that is not far away – and I heard things about Hearts.
“So it was great to hear that they were interested in me and I was happy to arrive and sign. When I was in the UK I was following the Scottish league and that is one of the reasons I am here.”
Martin was given a VIP tour of Tynecastle and Hearts’ training base – the state-of-the-art Oriam complex at Riccarton – yesterday morning and was left in no doubt that he has made the right decision to join the Jambos.
He is the latest arrival of the Cathro era, following Lennard Sowah and the experienced Aaron Hughes.
Juanma, Alim Ozturk and Tony Watt, meanwhile, have left the club during a busy January.
They remain keen to secure reinforcements in the heart of defence, with Christophe Berra linked with the club, and will seek to snap up a new right-back with Callum Paterson out until October with cruciate knee ligament damage.
“It is a great feeling to be at Hearts, see the stadium and I really enjoyed my first day here,” Martin told Hearts TV. “I’m now really impatient to get to know the players and start my first training session.
“Honestly, I have been really impressed, I am excited. The facilities are amazing and they have everything you could need to be a better player and enjoy life at Hearts.”
Meanwhile, Martin, when asked what sort of player Hearts fans can look forward to seeing in action, has vowed to do his talking on the pitch – with a potential debut against Raith Rovers in the Scottish Cup on Sunday on the cards if international clearance is received.
“I’m not someone who like to talk about the type of player I am, I always prefer to show things on the pitch. I hope that I can score goals and have a lot of success with the club,” he added.