A stunning goal against Liverpool in his debut game at Old Trafford earned Anthony Martial a cult status among the Manchester United fans. The Red Devils acquired the former AS Monaco starlet a couple of years back and he is easily one of the most promising youngsters in the Premier League.
However, Jose Mourinho’s appointment as the new manager jeopardized Martial’s chances of first-team football. The Portuguese tactician barely made use of his services and to make matters worse, the addition of Alexis Sanchez has seen him fall lower in the pecking order.
Due to a significant shortage of game time, Martial missed out on a place in Didier Deschamps’ World Cup squad and he must re-establish his career elsewhere. And interestingly enough, the 22-year-old attacker is reportedly a transfer target for Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino.
It is quite unlikely for the Red Devils to recover the entire fee they paid for him back in 2015. United, therefore, should consider an alternate way of offloading Martial by demanding a straight swap with Tottenham contract-rebel Toby Alderweireld, who has been linked with a move to join the Red Devils.
The 29-year-old Belgian international will be a free agent next summer and he has reportedly rejected several extension offers following Spurs’ denial to match his wage demands. When it comes to a player of Alderweireld’s calibre, there is a certain risk of losing the centre-back for nothing. Thus, to avoid that, Spurs could consider letting him leave on a swap deal for Martial.
The Red Devils finished as runners-up in the Premier League last season but they were quite behind Manchester City, who enjoyed a record-breaking title triumph under Pep Guardiola. It is high time for Mourinho to bring in solid reinforcements to ensure United are strong enough to dethrone City in the title battle next term.
It goes without saying that a reconstruction at the back should be prioritised for United this summer. The presence of David De Gea protected them from humiliation time and again in the recent campaign but going forward, they cannot afford to take any chances.
Marcos Rojo and Eric Bailly have lost their place due to injuries and lack of form whereas Victor Lindelof failed to impress in his maiden campaign in English football. Phil Jones was decent enough but he continues to be injury-prone and Chris Smalling, his compatriot, has often been criticized for his lack of consistency.
Alderweireld, on the other hand, has performed in the league with distinction for years. In fact, he also played a huge role in establishing Tottenham’s reputation as one of the best sides in England.
Martial, meanwhile, will add more depth, agility and versatility to the North London outfit’s attacking third. Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura are likely to continue as the back-ups, meaning the Frenchman could secure a first-team role for himself. His presence will reduce their dependability on Harry Kane, thus increasing their odds of winning silverware.
United were involved in a swap deal with Arsenal earlier in January as they exchanged Henrikh Mkhitaryan for Alexis Sanchez. A similar deal this summer could suit United and Tottenham in the days to come.