Deadline West Bromwich Albion signing Martin Kelly has said he wants to help the club reach their full potential in the future.
The experienced defender signed on the dotted line at The Hawthorns yesterday on a free transfer having been released by Crystal Palace earlier this summer.
During his first interview with the club, the 32-year-old, who joins the Baggies on a two-year deal, hinted he was excited to start.
“I can’t wait to get started.” Kelly said WBA Club Media.
“It’s been really strange for me this summer to be a free agent for the first time, especially after a frustrating season last year when I didn’t play as much as I would have liked.
“In the future, I want to help a club reach its true potential. I feel like, at a club the size of Albion, this is a great opportunity for me to help drive the team forward with the attributes that I think I have. I think the club can help me and my game too, it works both ways.
“I’ve had a great time at Crystal Palace over the past few years, but I’m really looking forward to starting my life at West Bromwich Albion.”
The defender indeed didn’t play much football last season, nor the season before.
In 2021/22 for example, he only appeared for Palace once, and in 2020/21 just twice.
Despite that, and now 32, Kelly believes he still has more to give, at Championship level and above.
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“I feel like I still have a lot to offer at this level and beyond.” Kelly added.
“I had a discussion with my family and once this opportunity presented itself, I acted fairly quickly without hesitation.
“Coming back to a team environment and doing what I’ve been doing for 14 or 15 years is going to be amazing. I can’t wait to get my boots back on and play competitive football again.
“I spent a few weeks watching the team, the results and the other matches in the league. I think it’s a really competitive league this year. There are a lot of good teams.
“I feel like I’ve integrated into a great team and a great set-up here. I want to give everything I can give to this team.
This is an interesting West Brom.
When you look at how much football Kelly has played over the past few seasons, he’s not a signing that excites you by any means, however, he is certainly very experienced having played over 150 Premier League matches.
Able to play at right-back and centre-back, on a free, the 32-year-old does, however, offer Steve Bruce some depth and versatility.
As such, it saves this deal from looking like a bad one to potentially being a signing that turns out to be quite shrewd at the end of the season.
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