Why a move away from Man United could be ideal for Anthony Martial
“Ohhhh Yesss! Welcome to Manchester United, Anthony Martial.”
That was the iconic commentary from Martin Tyler to describe Anthony Martial’s wonder goal on his debut, against Liverpool in front of the Stretford End. The stuff that dreams are made of for any Manchester United player.
The 2015/16 campaign was a disappointing one for Louis Van Gaal’s Manchester United where they finished 5th in the league. But the arrival of Martial was certainly one of the few bright spots from that campaign.
The teenager scored an impressive 17 goals in his first season in England and became a cult hero among the United supporters after his heroics against Everton in the FA Cup semi-final. They expected more of the same from him the following season but Van Gaal was sacked after the FA Cup victory.
Enter Jose Mourinho. Martial returned late from a disappointing Euros with France and he had a tough task of impressing the Portuguese. Anthony Martial got a few starts but it was quite evident that he was going through the ‘second season syndrome’.
He scored his first goal of the season against Stoke City at Old Trafford but that proved to be a false dawn. He struggled with form as Mourinho trusted Rashford more for the spot on the left-wing.
By the time the season ended, United had won the League Cup and a Europa League, but it was a forgetful year for the Frenchman who only found the back of the net 4 times in the Premier League.
However, both the manager and the player started the 2017/18 season in a swashbuckling manner where they seemed to romp over any team that came in their way. Martial was an integral part of this as he scored some great goals against the likes of Swansea and West Ham. As the season progressed, Martial’s confidence was on a rise.
By January, he had accumulated 9 goals and 5 assists. Martial was in a rich vein of form when he scored 3 goals in January. But in the last week of the winter transfer window, United signed Chilean superstar Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal.
Sanchez came straight into the left-wing position and Martial was pushed out onto the right. He struggled on the right-hand side and was later benched for a certain Jesse Lingard who was having a season of his life.
Things have never been the same since then and during the recent pre-season tour, the relationship between Jose Mourinho and Martial took another dive. Martial flew back home to attend the birth of his second child and his Portuguese manager wasn’t very impressed with Martial’s failure to return to pre-season on time.
For a player of Martial’s talent, a lot of clubs across Europe would pay a premium price in a heartbeat. But according to the Mirror, Italian giants AC Milan are after the United attacker. Last season, the Rossoneri broke the bank to bring in a host of young and talented players but none of them could take the club to the heights of their glorified past.
To improve on their 6th placed finish, they have already got Gonzalo Higuain to get the number of goals that they lacked last campaign. Anthony Martial will complement the Argentine in the attack and solve the left-wing problem for Milan. His pace and direct running will be a headache for any defence in Serie A. This move will also enable Martial to have a fresh start in a new league and give him the chance to be a regular starter for AC Milan.
The only problem for Milan is that Manchester United value Martial at around £100million and the transfer window in England is already closed. Manchester United didn’t sign any attacker in the summer and Mourinho would struggle without a replacement.
Though the move would benefit Martial, Man United must not let go of the French star.