Hardly a surprise given last season’s events, but agent Philippe Lamboley has finally revealed Anthony Martial wants to leave Manchester United this summer. His contract has 12 months to run, but there’s been no progress over an extension which has raised doubt over his long-term future at Old Trafford.
I can’t help but feel his omission from France’s 23-man squad for this summer’s World Cup had a major bearing on the decision to leave. France are still 6/1 to win the tournament, according to the latest football betting odds, but Martial was a regular for Les Blues at the time of his signing in 2016.
He won the Golden Boy award for his performances at the 2016 European Championships, but he’s fallen down the pecking order since as a result of diminishing form at club level. Martial impressed in his debut season at Old Trafford, scoring and creating 15 goals in 29 Premier League starts, but he became a victim of inconsistency which led to him losing his place in the side.
Martial was substituted on or substituted off in 25 of his 30 league games last season, but still ended the campaign with the second-most amount of goals (9) – can someone tell this to Jose Mourinho? Alexis Sanchez’s arrival in January saw Martial taken out of the starting lineup, even after he continued to flop, so why wouldn’t he leave?
He’s not the first Frenchman our current manager has struggled to get the best from in games……but if Martial wants out, which club will sign him? Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly keen and have broken their wage structure to tie Harry Kane down to a long-term deal, but I envisage an entire summer of negotiating with chairman Daniel Levy if they catch wind of his availability.
We know Martial wasn’t at his best last season but losing him would be such a misstep. After seeing Romelu Lukaku, Kevin de Bruyne and Mohamed Salah struggle under Mourinho and go on to become world-beaters after leaving him, surely the alarm bells should ring this time?
The Frenchman has real promise, having contributed 39 goals in 86 league games for United, but Mourinho isn’t trying hard enough to keep him. Martial was named on the bench in the Europa League knockouts and FA Cup final last season – nothing says expendable more than this. I and many other would fume if he was sold this summer, as we’re pretty certain the decision would come back to bite Jose. But our manager’s stubbornness might be the death of him.