New Palace signing wants a double

Wimbledon Guardian: Signing on the dotted line: Aaron Martin. Picture: Crystal Palace Football Club Signing on the dotted line: Aaron Martin. Picture: Crystal Palace Football Club

Aaron Martin wants back-to-back promotions after joining Crystal Palace on a season-long loan from Southampton.

The 22-year-old central defender played 17 times for Nigel Adkins’s Saints last year as they clinched runners-up spot in the Championship and a place in the Premiership.

Palace flirted with the play-offs for much of the season, but one win in the last 13 games saw them slip down the table and finish 17th.

But Martin, manager Dougie Freedman’s second signing of the summer after he captured right back Joel Ward from Portsmouth, believes the Eagles can mount a significant promotion push.

“Of course we can challenge,” he said.

“If you look at the squad, we have got experienced players and lots of exciting youngsters as well with a good manager – I remember how well organised he had got the team when I played against them for Southampton in the Carling Cup last season.

“The way the club is being run at the moment there is no reason why we should not be up there.”

Martin joined Southampton from non-league Eastleigh in 2009 and has made 29 appearances in total since then, spending most of last season as back up to Jose Fonte and Jos Hooiveld.

With Adkins expected to strengthen his defence further this summer, Martin was eager to leave on loan to get a consistent run of games.

“It’s what I need for my development,” he said.

“I need a solid year of playing in the Championship and this will help me get a few more games and get ready for the Premiership the following season.

“Palace is a good club with a good manager and it was nice to get everything sorted early on.

“Now I can relax and get ready to hit the ground running in pre-season.”

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