Is Martial the right man for Manchester United?

By Mark Peters IN Archive,General - 20:05 Sep 1st 2015

The transfer window slams shut on Tuesday evening and we now know that the highly-rated Anthony Martial is a Manchester United player.

Having been heavily-linked with Tottenham earlier in the summer, reports started to emerge yesterday that the Red Devils had agreed a staggering £36m deal with AS Monaco for the forward’s services.

Given that the 19-year-old has yet to win his first cap for his country, the size of the transfer fee has taken everyone by surprise, but are the Premier League club getting a good deal?

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ANTHONY MARTIAL

Manchester United are clearly paying well over the odds for the inexperienced Frenchman, but he is young enough to still be making an impact at Old Trafford ten years from now.

The AS Monaco man can play out wide or through the middle and his top-flight numbers last season were very similar to those of the player that he will effectively be replacing in the Red Devils’ attack, Robin van Persie:

Anthony
Martial
versusRobin
van Persie
FWDPOSITIONFWD
19Y 8MAGE32Y 0M
5FT 11INHEIGHT6FT 0IN
11ST 13LBWEIGHT11ST 13LB
 
FL | MCO | | MNU | PL
06/14 - 06/1506/14 - 06/15
19
STARTS
25
1916
MINS
PLAYED
2114
9
GOALS
10
3
ASSISTS
2
3
OPENING
GOALS
3
4
WINNING
GOALS
2
4
HOME
GOALS
7
5
AWAY
GOALS
3
HEADED
GOALS
2
L
1
R
8
GOALS
R/L FOOT
L
6
R
2
213
MINS
PER GOAL
211
4
TOTAL
6

Both men took around 210 minutes to score a goal on average, hardly enough to set pulses racing around Europe.

In Martial’s defence, however, he often operated in wide areas for a team that netted only 51 times in Ligue 1, plus he was still learning his trade.

Blessed with searing pace and a cool head in front of goal, the 19-year-old has drawn comparisons with Thierry Henry:

It remains to be seen whether or not Martial can live up to the hype and expectation surrounding him, but his arrival will provide Manchester United with a threat in behind opposition defences and allow Wayne Rooney to revert to his favoured No.10 role.

Current boss of the French national team, Didier Deschamps, recently provided a perfect summary of what the forward has to offer:

“He’s a young player obviously, but he’s got an interesting profile in an area where it’s not easy to find players with both strength and speed.”

It would be fair to say that Martial is a good fit for Manchester United in terms of what he brings to the table, but he is nowhere near the finished article.

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