It has become one of the transfer stories of the summer, with the rumour mill certain that Manchester United and Anthony Martial will part ways before the start of the new season. The rumblings of discontent have been emanating from the player for a number of months now, so will the French forward get his wish?
When you think of the way Martial burst onto the scene with a stunning goal against Liverpool on his Premier League debut, it’s incredible that it’s come to this. However, the man who became the world’s most expensive teenager when he arrived at Old Trafford from Monaco has completely stagnated in Manchester.
He’s one of those players that opposition supporters might be extremely wary of, while his own fans grow increasingly frustrated. There’s no question he has the raw talent to perform at the highest level, but the application of his ability is where the problems arise. Too often he refuses to attack his full-back, or wastes a promising position with a poor touch or pass.
|Anthony Martial to join Bayern Munich||16/1||Offer|
|Anthony Martial to join Tottenham||6/1||Offer|
Jose Mourinho doesn’t seem able to get the best out of Martial, despite the Portuguese having been at United for two years now. Last season, Martial and Marcus Rashford invariably shared the duties on the left side of the Red Devils’ attack, but the arrival of Alexis Sanchez in January restricted Martial’s playing time even further.
A lack of minutes and poor performances when he did play meant Martial missed out on the France squad for this summer’s World Cup, despite having featured regularly for Les Bleus following his move to Old Trafford. Which brings us to the situation Martial finds himself in now.
After two underwhelming performances on United’s pre season tour to America, Martial has flown to Paris to be with his partner who is about to give birth. This isn’t uncommon at all among professional footballers – just look at Fabian Delph returning home during England’s World Cup campaign – but the timing fits perfectly with the narrative that Martial wants out, and Mourinho is unimpressed with him.
For United, the Frenchman leaving wouldn’t exactly be a bitter blow, despite his potential and the fact that he’s still only 22. Mourinho seems determined that Sanchez will play on the left of his attack, and with Romelu Lukaku up top that only leaves a spot on the right wing and in behind the striker.
Most United fans want to see more of Marcus Rashford, while Jesse Lingard has come on leaps and bounds. Juan Mata is an experienced head, Tahith Chong could be one for the future, while Mourinho retains an interest in Ivan Rakitic. United have also been linked with another Croatian winger, Ante Rebic, this week, who had a great World Cup.
Reports have suggested that United want a transfer fee in the region of £80m for Martial, having so far paid £43.2m for a player who could’ve cost them almost £58m. There seems little doubt Mourinho would gladly accept that amount of money for a player he clearly doesn’t fancy.
So where can Martial go? The likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham have been mooted as potential destinations, but United don’t want to sell to another Premier League club. Barcelona were reported to be interested last season but have since done their business elsewhere, while Bayern Munich are also said to be keen with wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery nearing the end of their careers.
Back in his native France, Paris Saint-Germain are pretty well stocked in the forward positions, while Monaco wouldn’t be willing to meet United’s asking price for their former player. There aren’t too many options for Martial if he wants to remain at the top of the European game, but that’s assuming the suitors are there for him. For now, he could be best served knuckling down at Old Trafford in a bid to win over Jose Mourinho.