Why Anthony Martial Must Avoid Chelsea Interest And Stay Put At Manchester United
It began extremely well. A relatively unknown 18-year old picked up the ball on the left-wing from Ashley Young’s pass and bamboozled Liverpool’s most experienced defender before coolly slotting the ball past an onrushing keeper to announce himself on his debut.
Back in 2015, when Martial made his first steps as a Manchester United player, he brought with him immense potential that had the fans excited. Martial went on to finish that season as the team’s top-scorer and more was expected from him under the guidance of Jose Mourinho.
However, things haven’t really panned out swimmingly since then. He finished the 2016-17 season with a meagre return of just 5 goals. To add to his ignominy, he had to forfeit the No.9 jersey to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and was reassigned the No.11 shirt.
It seemed like Martial was going on a downward spiral. Mourinho further compounded things when he publicly proclaimed that he expected more from the player. He had set an ultimatum that he was the boss and Martial would have to adapt to his ways if he was to continue playing at United.
Improved performance but still strained
This season, Martial seemed to have improved. Instead of sulking, he put his head down and began putting in the graft and effort demanded of him.
This led to periods in the season where he was given the slot down the left to attack and wreak havoc. He began the first half of the season extremely well and even went on to score 9 goals in the league.
However, the arrival of Alexis Sanchez meant that he was pushed further down the pecking order. It did not help matters that Rashford began performing and scoring goals, thus pushing him to be a fourth-choice starter, behind Sanchez, Rashford and Lingard. Mourinho tried shifting his position to the right but Martial could not respond with a positive performance.
Chelsea could come calling but Martial must resist
All this doubt has cast a cloud over Martial’s future. Reports are claiming that Chelsea are interested in Martial but the Frenchman must resist.
He’s playing at one of the biggest clubs in the world and next season, he could be competing with Romelu Lukaku for a starting berth in the central role he so desires. Martial is a player who has the ability to change a game and he needs to get through this tough phase to succeed.
Mourinho is a manager who demands character from his players and now is the ideal time for Martial to show it. Once Sanchez leaves United in a few years, Martial would have enough experience to put in stellar performances day in day out and he, more than anyone, needs to understand this.