- Premier League
- EFL Championship
- Other Top Clubs
- Scout Reports
Manchester United fans were in for quite a shock when news reports suggested that Anthony Martial was being targeted by Barcelona and Arsenal. The Frenchman has come back to his best in recent weeks but with Jose Mourinho still reluctant to hand him a guaranteed starting place, Barcelona are believed to have taken an interest.
Martial is also being touted as a long-term replacement for Alexis Sanchez at the Emirates, with the Chilean’s Arsenal future looking increasingly bleak.
Despite being behind Marcus Rashford in the pecking order at United, Martial, who joined Manchester United for a fee rising up to £58m, has 5 goals and 6 assists so far this season. Barcelona’s current left-sided options are limited to Denis Suarez and Gerard Deulofeu, and that is Martial’s usual position. Ousmane Dembele continues to be ruled out for the foreseeable future with a hamstring injury, thus making the United winger a prime target. However, joining Barcelona may not be the best option for Martial.
Straight off the bat, Martial does not have La Liga experience. Transitioning from one league to another is a tough process – even more so when the switch happens between Premier League and La Liga clubs.
It has taken Martial quite some time to find his old form back, and a move to a club where the style of football is so different could hamper his performances. Besides, joining Barcelona right now will only provide him with short-term opportunities. Dembele is bound to return sooner or later, and who’s to say Ernesto Valverde will deploy him ahead of their multi-million acquisition?
This will only defeat Martial’s purpose – which is to secure regular game-time to improve his prospects ahead of the upcoming World Cup.
Arsene Wenger signed Alexandre Lacazette after failing with multiple moves for other striker targets. However, problems refuse to die down for Wenger, since his star player Alexis Sanchez has been quite vocal about seeking an exit. Heavily rumoured to join either Manchester City or Barcelona, Sanchez is likely to leave the club in January.
If that happens, Martial could prove to be an ideal choice for Arsenal to sign. Moreover, Wenger has earlier dealt with wide forwards in his career – he extracted the best out of the likes of Thierry Henry and Robin Van Persie, and there is no reason why he cannot have the same impact on Martial.
The player will also receive adequate playing time at Arsenal. His first-team chances in the long run seem a lot stronger playing for the Gunners. Also, his Premier League experience will certainly help him forge a name for himself in the hearts of the Arsenal faithful.