When French forward Anthony Martial arrived at Manchester United from Monaco in 2015 for an initial fee of £36million, potentially rising to £58million, the youngster was seen as one of the brightest young players in world football.
However, things have not worked out for the 22-year-old in Manchester. According to media reports and quotes from his agent Philippe Lamboley, Martial wants to move on this summer.
The forward had previously been in talks with United over a new deal. Whether the talk of unrest is just a negotiation tactic is unknown.
Not lived up to his early performances
One of the problems with Martial is that he seems to have believed the hype from his early career and has become overconfident. Unfortunately, his confidence is rather misplaced, as he has not lived up to the early promise of his career.
Martial struggled for regular first-team football at Old Trafford last season. The forward made 30 Premier League appearances. However, only 18 of those top-flight appearances came from the start.
The January arrival of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal was a major factor in Martial’s restricted game time. That situation is unlikely to change at Old Trafford next season, as the Chilean is likely to be a key player and improve his performances in his first full campaign at United.
His lack of regular first-team football has also cost Martial a chance of playing for France at this summer’s World Cup. His omission came as no surprise though.
Maybe needs a move to thrive
Martial does not lack talent. A record of nine goals and two assists in his limited appearances last season shows that. However, some have questioned the forward’s attitude and willingness to learn and work hard.
At 22, he is still young, even in football terms. However, United fans and everybody associated with the club has been disappointed with Martial’s output in recent seasons. Many have questioned why boss Jose Mourinho has not picked him more regularly and why the player has not developed at the club.
Maybe though, the player needs to take more responsibility for his career stalling. His age is definitely a factor in his current malaise. A move elsewhere playing under a different boss could well be the answer to reviving Martial’s career.
A different boss could maybe get into his head and help him fulfil his potential. Mourinho is not renowned for his ability to develop young players. In fact, the Portuguese boss is often criticised for his unwillingness to give young players first-team chances. In Martial’s case, it may just be justified.
United set to strengthen
Martial’s future at United may be unknown, but one thing that is certain is that the Red Devils will strengthen to challenge for the Premier League title next season. United are currently odds of 7/1 third favourites to win the league behind rivals Manchester City and Liverpool.
United have already secured the services of Brazilian central midfielder Fred and Young Portuguese defender Diego Dalot for next season. The pair are unlikely to be the only signings this summer.
Whether the Red Devils strengthen in attack remains to be seen. If they do, then Martial could well leave Manchester this summer. If he does, it will be interesting to see if the youngster can start to fulfil his potential elsewhere.
Could Anthony Martial fulfil his potential away from Old Trafford?
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