Football League World
·4 February 2023
Football League World
·4 February 2023
This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
On deadline day, it was announced that Chris Martin had left Bristol City after coming to a mutual agreement with the Robins, terminating his contract on the same day as former teammate Timm Klose.
This news came as no real surprise considering he had been stuck on the sidelines at Ashton Gate, spending the Robins’ last five league games out of Nigel Pearson’s matchday squad altogether.
He didn’t even appear in the FA Cup against Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion last month – and had seemingly been overtaken in the pecking order by the likes of Tommy Conway and Sam Bell who will only improve considering their age.
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Antoine Semenyo’s sale to AFC Bournemouth may have tempted the Robins to keep hold of the experienced forward for the remainder of the campaign.
But other attacking players have come in since the Ghana international’s departure, with more additions potentially set to come in during the summer with the money they generated from his sale.
In terms of Martin though, which EFL club would benefit the most from his services? We asked three of our writers at FLW for their verdicts.
Martin may be looking for further security than a deal until the end of the season, but if he was willing to initially accept a contract of that length, with the confidence that he could prove his worth and earn an extension between now and the end of the campaign, he should stay local and move to Cardiff City.
The 34-year-old may wish to stay playing at the highest level possible, and Cardiff could do with a striker of Martin’s experience and physical stature.
The Bluebirds are comfortably the lowest-scoring team in the second tier this season, with Callum Robinson their top scorer in the league with four goals.
Sabri Lamouchi has a number of mobile forwards at his disposal, but a lack of number nines, and Martin could plug that gap while giving the likes of Robinson, Mark Harris and Jaden Philogene a focal point to play off.
Martin boasts plenty of qualities that most EFL clubs would benefit from.
Not only does he have a wealth of experience at a high level, as well as playing international football, he’s proved at every club he’s played for that he’s a goalscorer.
He’s not a player who has ever been placed with pace, but his technique, touch and physical play will benefit clubs up and down the leagues.
Bristol Rovers are a side that spring to mind. Martin has always filled a false nine role at Derby with high energy, pacey players either side of him.
That could get the best out of the likes of Aaron Collins and Josh Coburn and will allow Rovers to play in the opposition third for longer with his hold-up play.
While Martin may not be as prolific as he once was, he has an incredibly unique skill set that gets the best out of players around him, which will almost certainly have some managers throughout League One and Two on the phone in the near future.
Scoring 12 goals and recording six assists last term, some would argue that the 34-year-old could still have a role to play in the Championship but he could benefit from taking a step down to League One now.
He will want to go somewhere where he will be an asset – and Charlton Athletic does seem like an obvious destination for him with Jayden Stockley leaving The Valley during the latter stages of last month.
Macauley Bonne may have come in – but the addition of another experienced head like Martin could come in and help to turn fellow attacker Miles Leaburn into an even better player.
Peterborough United may also be a good fit considering the fact Darren Ferguson’s men offloaded both Jack Marriott and Joe Taylor during the winter window, with Kabongo Tshimanga not guaranteed to make an instant impact.
Forest Green Rovers may have benefitted from having him in their squad before they brought in another physical forward in Jahmari Clarke – and they should keep tabs on Martin just in case the Reading youngster’s loan deal doesn’t work out for the best.
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