Middlesbrough have announced the capture of former France Under 21 captain Malaury Martin on a one-year contract after battling back from a cruciate ligament injury that wrecked his year at Blackpool.
The former France U17, U19, and U21 captain said he's anxious to get Boro back to the Barclays Premier League, where he says the club belongs, and he’s determined to return to full fitness by the start of the new campaign.
"I am an ambitious player and Middlesbrough are ambitious to win promotion," he said. "I've signed for one year but I would like to stay longer in England with Middlesbrough.
"I am optimistic about this season, it's an important one. I think Middlesbrough are a Premier League team, not a Championship team. In France, Middlesbrough have a good reputation, they are thought of as a Premier League club.
"I'm very, very excited because the stadium is beautiful, the fans are good and my first game in the stadium will be very important to me."
Martin went on to say that his knee is no longer an issue, but that it's important that he plays regular football to complete his comeback from injury.
"It's important that I play football because last season I was injured. My knee is okay now. I want to play. It's my ambition to do well with Middlesbrough and for the club to do well."
Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray was very happy with the signing of such a prestigious young player. He said that Martin's versatility will make him a very valuable asset to Boro, and he looks forward to utilising him.
"Malaury can do a bit of everything and will be a useful addition to our midfield," Mowbray said. "He can pass, tackle and defend and he has a great shot on him, so we'll try to utilise his talents."