French starlet Anthony Martial burst on to the scene in English football back in 2015. The young winger set Manchester United fans into meltdown on his debut with a goal against bitter rivals Liverpool, in a 3-1 win.
Signed for an initial £36,000,000 with the potential for it to rise to £57,600,000 the hopes were certainly high for Martial. He was brought to England by then manager United manager Louis van Gaal, arriving from Monaco. In his first season he was able to notch 11 goals in 31 games.
May 27th 2016, proved to be the dawn of a new era at Manchester United as they appointed José Mourinho. While the club as a whole have since seen trophies enter the cabinet, there have been several dilemma’s with Mourinho so far during his reign. An unsettled fan base due to the ‘boring’ brand of football has certainly been an issue and now new problems appear to be coming to light after earlier this evening, it was revealed that Anthony Martial wants to leave the club.
Speaking with French media at RMC Sport, Martial’s agent Philippe Lamboley revealed that although United are keen to keep hold of their man, the player himself wants to leave.
He said: “After considering all possibilities and options, Anthony wants to leave Manchester United.”
“There are many reasons, for now it is too early to discuss it. Anthony will talk soon to go through that.
“Man United want to extend Anthony’s deal and they do now want him to leave, but we have not come to an agreement for several months. I think that when Man United, who are the most powerful club, cannot come to an agreement after eight months it is because they really don’t want to make him a key player.”
Lamboley later went on to suggest that Martial is unsatisfied with his current role at the club. While doing so he also referred to his player’s past form, as well as the gratitude Martial has for the support he has received in England.
He continued: “We do not have the same vision of Anthony’s future. Right now Anthony is disappointed because he has shown for three seasons the love he feels for the club and its fans. On top of that, I can tell you that without the fans’ unconditional support Anthony would have already asked for a transfer.”
“I think he has done his best over the last three years. It is important to remember that this season he scored 11 goals and gave 10 assists in five months. He was chosen Player of the Month three times by fans.
“Where will he play? Right now I don’t think that’s the most important question. Anthony just wants to play, to feel happy and connect with his coach, that is essential.”
So, why might Anthony Martial want to leave?
Country before club
The 2018 World Cup gets underway tomorrow with the hosts Russia opening proceedings against Saudi Arabia, a tournament in which Martial will play no part.
Many people will feel that Martial should realistically be getting into the squad selected by coach, Didier Deschamps. However, after failing to set the Premier League alight in the penultimate campaign he only found himself on the reserve list.
A quick and direct winger that would arguably be a starting in a lot of other nations sides. Does leaving him out highlight the strength in depth that France have or is it due to poor form?
Too good for the bench
The 2017/18 season proved to be a bit of a struggle for Martial. The 22-year-old was often used as a substitute and on occasions unused.
Seemingly out of favour, especially since the arrival of Chilean Alexis Sanchez, Martial has found himself working with scraps in order to make a real stake for a starting birth. He was given just 17 minutes against Chelsea in the F.A Cup final. A final in which his side were losing for the majority of. Not enough minutes.
In the Premier League last season, he was given just 18 starts out of a potential 38, he was still though able to contribute to a total of 14 goals to help his side. The former Lyon man helped himself to nine while setting up five, a return which in truth highlights his ability when given opportunities.
Naturally with a top player a lot of links and rumours are likely to circulate regarding where he might play as of next season. Where do you think Anthony Martial will be playing when the new campaign kicks off?
By James Miller