By Mark Weasley
Anthony Martial has been linked with an exit away from Old Trafford this summer but if the club and Jose Mourinho know what is good for us, he should be held with both hands and persuaded to stay.
At 22, what he needs is an arm around the shoulder. Jose Mourinho must know that his tough-love approach may not always work on modern footballers. With the Portuguese tactician interested in signing £60m-rated winger, Willian from Chelsea, United need to re-evaluate the pursuit of the Brazilian.
Why go for Willian, 29, when we have a younger and arguably more skillful player in Martial? Though he may not yet be consistent, Martial has the potential to be one of the best.
United had also been linked to the signing of Ivan Perisic from Inter Milan, but a move for the 30-year-old is also not being met with enthusiasm by the club hierarchy, who are not too sold on the idea of paying over the odds for a player that has maybe only 2 or 3 years left at the top of his game.
Martial is being courted by Premier League teams, though United are averse to selling him to a rival. Martial was phenomenal at the start of last season, scoring goals, dribbling and creating goals in equal measure. Overall, he averaged 112 minutes per goal or assist in the whole of the campaign. He had 9 goals and 5 assists in 30 league matches, of which only 18 were starts. The arrival of Alexis Sanchez in January limited his playing time on his preferred left attacking midfield position.
He should also learn to play on the right wing, and stake a claim for more first team action. He was shunted to the bench and even when Sanchez was off-colour, he was not still used. He had a passing accuracy of about 81.5%, 1. 4 dribbles per game and also had 1.6 shots per game.
Martial has just a year left on his deal, though United have a 12-month contract extension clause. United should give him a contract extension and help him get better.
It would be a great thing to see him shine at Old Trafford. He joined United in 2015 and has since scored 36 goals in 136 matches.
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One of the pitfalls of being employed in sports media is that sometimes it’s easy to get too wrapped up in the work of providing coverage of sporting events and forget to enjoy the sport itself. Another is that if your work involves forecasting results, it can almost be frustrating when things don’t go the […]