Why Manchester United must stop Martial from joining Chelsea
Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard has hinted he would like to move to Real Madrid after six years with the club and that could prompt the club to sign Martial as the Belgian’s replacement.
Martial, 22, has just one year left on his contract and reportedly wants to leave the club but manager Jose Mourinho is not interested in selling him this summer. Instead, the United hierarchy could trigger the one-year extension option in the forward’s contract.
It has been a roller-coaster ride for Martial ever since he joined United on transfer deadline day in September 2015. The Frenchman made an explosive start to his United career, scoring with poise against arch-rivals Liverpool on his debut, en route to netting 17 goals in his debut campaign with the Red Devils.
In Mourinho’s first season, the 22-year-old struggled to replicate his debut season form and ended up with just 8 goals to his name. And he didn’t have an impressive 2017/18 season either, managing just 11 goals in all competitions despite a stunning start.
On and off the field problems have hampered Martial’s Old Trafford career as he was left out of France’s World Cup-winning squad by manager Didier Deschamps. Also, the signing of Alexis Sanchez in January has had a negative impact on Martial’s progress, which limited his game time and dampened his self-confidence.
Currently in the United States for United’s pre-season, Martial has a glowing opportunity to earn a first-team spot ahead of the season opener against Leicester City in less than three weeks’ time. Mourinho faces a mini-crisis in the attack as Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford will return to the squad late after their World Cup outings.
Martial will be given the opportunity to shine in their enforced absence and he must look to grab it with both the hands. The France international could, therefore, be important in the coming weeks as United prepare for the 2018/19 campaign.
At 22, Martial has his best years ahead of him and his sale could end up being a catastrophic mistake United simply can’t afford to make. Above all, selling one of the club’s prized assets to direct rivals Chelsea would simply be disastrous for the Red Devils.
The Mancunian club must do everything within their powers to stop Martial from joining Chelsea as the lure to play under Maurizio Sarri could be tough to turn down for the player.
In every case, Martial is a player who United must hold on. He must be given confidence and freedom to develop as the French attacker’s limitless potential deserves regular opportunities on the pitch.
There have never been any doubts over Martial’s quality and if he is allowed to leave this summer, the decision could come back to bite Mourinho.