A lot has been said about French youngster Anthony Martial’s arrival from Monaco on transfer deadline day.
The 19-year-old become the most expensive teenager in the history of the game with the Red Devils splashing an initial £36million, with the fee potentially rising to a reported fee of around £54 with add-ons.
By anybody’s standards that is a lot of money to spend on one player, especially a youngster that has not even made 100 professional appearances.
However, prices have risen incredibly in modern day football and there seems to be more money than ever at Premier League clubs.
Manchester United needed to add another attacking player to their squad and Martial versatility could be a key asset to the Red Devils in the coming seasons.
The youngster has played much of his football at Monaco on the left-wing, although he can also play on the right, or as a central striker. United’s need for a central striker was greater than their need for a winger, with captain Wayne Rooney and James Wilson as Louis van Gaal’s only central striking options.
It may be that Van Gaal sees Martial playing in that position in the long-term and may move Rooney into the number ten role. Martial does seem to have the attributes to play as a central striker.
The pressure on the youngster will be major because of his price tag, which some people have questioned, with criticism coming from both fans and media alike. However, transfer fees have been greatly inflated in recent years and who knows he may turn out to be a bargain.
What adds to the pressure is the constant comparison with former-France and Arsenal legend Thierry Henry. It is an obvious comparison considering that Martial and Henry are both of West Indian descent and have played for Monaco.
Henry’s achievements in the game were fantastic, both at club and international level. He was also one of the best players to ever grace the Premier League.
If Martial can achieve half of what Henry has in the game, then he will no doubt be happy to emulate the former-Arsenal star.
Despite the media frenzy over his move the youngster does not seem fazed. Martial seems like a laidback character, who is does not seem the typical young footballer.
The 19-year-old has a child with his childhood sweetheart and according to reports would rather spend a night in with his family, than out on the tiles. He seems mature and he will need that maturity at a club like United.
No doubt because of his big transfer fee, there will be times when his ability to play at the top-level will be questioned. There will also be times when he is not in-form, which is inevitable for a young footballer. That is when he will have to stay strong mentally and stay focused.
From what I have seen of Martial he is a very promising talent and has some excellent attributes. His pace, ability to take players on and his directness will all be vital attributes in the Premier League.
The youngster will need time though to settle into a new country and league. He is only human and by most people’s standards a very young human at that. United fans need to remember his age and not get on his back too soon if things do not go his way initially.
The Red Devils fans should not put too much of the team’s attacking burden on the youngster, because he is only just making his way in his football career.
He is not the out-and-out central striker that United fans were hoping for, but he is a very promising youngster with what seems like a bright future. However, the forward is by no means the finished article.
The signing of Anthony Martial was a gamble by United boss Louis van Gaal. If the fee would have been a lot smaller fans would have been hailing the signing as a masterstroke, because Martial is highly-rated and had been scouted by a number of Europe’s top clubs.
Despite the fee, I think given time Martial could prove to be a very good signing for United and fulfil some of his massive potential at Old Trafford. Whether United can afford to give Martial time is another question though.
Will Anthony Martial be a good signing for Manchester United?