Manchester United need to solve the Anthony Martial problem before it causes irreparable damage


Manchester United forward Anthony Martial is set to battle with the Old Trafford club over a transfer. It was revealed by the Frenchman’s agent, Philippe Lamboley, that Martial wanted to leave the Theatre of Dreams this summer, despite having 12 months left on his current deal. United, however, are reportedly uninterested in selling the player, although some reports suggest that Jose Mourinho would be interested in selling the player. In an exclusive report by The Sun, which could be utter rubbish like other things reports in the paper, suggest Martial wants to stay in the Premier League.

If United sold the player, it would be to a club not in the Premier League but Martial, if these reports are true, seems intent on getting what he wants. Imagine that, the player, despite falling from grace over the last season, seemingly sulking more often than not, rejected a new long-term contract at the club and now feels that he should be respected. If he held any respect for the club that gave him a chance in the first place, it would not be so bad. Martial has been a good player for United since he arrived but his Nicolas Anelka-like sulking has taken the lightning from his thunder.

United hold all the cards at this moment in time with the player signing a four-year contract on his arrival on deadline day in 2015, with United also adding a clause for another year to be added. If that happens, not only will United retain value on their player but they could also make him remain at the club for two more years, which literally gives him nothing when negotiations come in. If United let Martial leave this summer, it would be on their terms, rather than his. This summer might have been different for him if he had pulled his socks up and did what was asked of him.

Martial’s fan club, Martial FC will tell you that Mourinho is responsible for the 22-year-olds downfall because he does not rate him. There might be some truth in that, only some as Mourinho does not seem to rate him but that is down to the fact that he was not doing what he was asked to do on the pitch. Mourinho tasks players to get involved in defensive duties also. Romelu Lukaku does it, Alexis Sanchez does it, even Marcus Rashford does it. When it comes to Martial, he must feel that he’s above all that and largely does not bother. That is a problem.

When the France squad was announced ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer, once Martial had been overlooked, Martial FC immediately blamed Mourinho. It’s like this section of United’s fan base, which has become rather toxic on social media over the last five years, are all children with a major lack of common sense. Reacting like they did is pathetic. It’s not Mourinho’s fault that Martial did not become a World Cup winner, that is on the player. Sir Alex Ferguson treated players similarly if they did not fight for the team, is it his fault some of those players faltered after leaving United?

Martial clearly is not a team player and feels he should be treated in a much higher regard, that might be why Juventus, who were linked with Martial for a long period of time really did not get involved in trying to lure the player away from the Theatre of Dreams. On signing Cristiano Ronaldo, that literally ended a long-standing rumour in the media. If Martial was this ‘world beater’ his fans say he is, why are Real Madrid and Barcelona not after him? Surely if he was that good he would have multiple offers coming through his agent? That doesn’t seem to be the case.

The report states that Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea are both keen on signing Martial. Spurs are seeking to address their attacking options this summer with Vincent Janssen and Fernando Llorente seemingly heading for the exit door and Lucas Moura failing to perform after his winter move to the club. Chelsea has reportedly kept an eye on the Frenchman but the fact that Willian, who they were trying to keep from the clutched of Barcelona this summer, now seems to be staying at Stamford Bridge, for now at least, could change that.

Obviously, United would be stupid to allow a player such as Martial to leave for a club considered as a rival, which suggests selling him to a foreign club would be the only option but are there any takers for him this summer. Richarlison recently transferred from Watford to Everton in a deal which could eventually be worth £50 million, paying £35 million initially, meaning that Martial should be worth a lot more. Wilfried Zaha has recently had a £70 million price tag put on him by Crystal Palace and is seemingly a target for Chelsea.

During the pre-season tour of the United States of America, even though it is unfair to judge performances because it is a training, not a competitive environment, Martial has not restored any faith in his performances despite playing in a role he apparently favours, playing as the main striker in a central position. I get the impression that Martial cares little for the club. Some will tell you that it is a lack of creativity, which is present on the pre-season tour with all the first team players missing after the World Cup but if Martial wanted to succeed, he would at least try.

I think keeping this unhappy Martial at the club will end up causing more damage than anything else and if the club has aspirations to succeed, they let him go this summer. There is only one thing that would change that for me and that would need to be a complete change of attitude from the player himself, and without a transplant, I don’t think that is possible. It makes you wonder why the player thinks the way he does. Could it be the fact Martial FC have him down as the best player in the world before he really has achieved anything! There are reasons he’s not in the top ten of top players, his attitude is the main factor.

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