Anthony Martial opens talks with Manchester United regarding new contract – reports

Manchester United forward Anthony Martial has reportedly opened talks for a new contract at the Theatre of Dreams. It was suggested by the media, after a turbulent season for the Frenchman, which ended with him not being selected for the 23-man French squad ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer. Martial has been a peripheral figure at the club this season and after the arrival of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal in January, the lack of fight from the 22-year-old was puzzling.

Martial currently has one year left, with a further year which could be added on. It is stated by The Sun that United may have a job to get the Frenchman to commit to the club for the long-term after falling short of the required standard that manager Jose Mourinho expects, which is fair enough. Those who think Martial was having a great season are somewhat mistaken as he has been inconsistent throughout and the sulking has been evident when he was not selected, even when given the chance, the fight was not there.

Normally, what another player who plays in a similar position is brought in, there is a rise of competition from other players and that added competition is good for the club but in this instance, it has not turned out that way, for Martial or for Sanchez. The Sun state that Martial’s lack of playing time this season has cost him a place in the French squad for the World Cup, but it is not just down to playing time. If Martial gave Mourinho a reason to keep him in the team, he would have been there and potentially could have been heading to Russia this summer.

In order to fight for a place for France in the future, Martial will need to up his playing time, this could be away from Old Trafford, or at the club, if he manages to sort himself out as it is not just a problem that has been caused by Mourinho, Martial has not helped himself either, especially not dropping back when he needs to, like Sanchez has done, also his attitude problems, which have been prevalent during his time at the club, and reported in-depth at times.

It has nearly been three years since Martial’s deadline day move in the summer of 2015, of which United have paid £57.6 million so far. There are Premier League teams interested in the Frenchman, Tottenham Hotspur being one of those. United would obviously be seeking the money they have already spent on the player, if he is to be sold, and rightly so, United would not be willing to sell to a Premier League rival. Juventus have been linked also but so far, there does not seem t be any concrete interest in the player if he is to be sold.

United are in a position of power right now, in effect having Martial contracted for two more years, however, in that time, Martial’s value could fall significantly meaning United will have to sell at a cut price, which in turn would bring all the media out, the same media who wrote the 19-year-old Frenchman off before he had even kicked a ball for United, which was promptly changed after scoring his debut goal on his debut at Old Trafford again Liverpool that season.

Martial managed 45 appearances in all competitions, scoring 11 goals and a further nine assists. At the start of the season, despite Martial not being a starter, coming off the bench late in games, swapping places with Marcus Rashford, it seemed to work well, with Martial starting and being replaced by Rashford in other matches. However, during the rest of the season, this form dwindled as United were knocked off the top spot by Manchester City and sat in second for the majority of the season, give or take the few times Liverpool topped them, for 48 hours or less.

Martial could be a great player for United, but he will need to be up for the fight as everything will not go to plan like he and his supporters, Martial FC seem to think. There will be times where other players look better fits for matches, times where form does not bring out the best of players and times where things need to be different. If Martial cannot sort that out, being a Manchester United player could be a thing of the past for him. If that happens, he will only have himself to blame.

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