At the age of 19, many football fans and analysts were simply astonished when Man utd announced the signing of French striker Anthony Martial from Monaco for a reported £36 million pounds which could potentially rise to £58 million. The fee is the highest transfer fee paid for a teenager in football history. Transfer fee and age aside, what made Louis Van Gaal believe that this young emerging talent was the solution to Man Utd’s striking problems?
After insistence that Wayne Rooney would be Man Utd’s number one striker in the 2015/16 season, with Marouane Fellaini playing a part role in the number ten and nine position, Van Gaal decided to splash the cash one more time with the acquisition of Martial. The signs had already been there that Rooney and Fellaini wouldn’t do for the entire season after a disappointing 2-1 loss against Swansea in the league. Utd had resorted to long balls into the box aimed at Fellaini to try and get a goal only to meet a resolute Swansea defence on the day. Many would say pace was what Utd needed and that is the first trait that LVG’s new striker will bring. According to journalist Philippe Auclair, Martial plays in a style to retired Arsenal great Thierry Henry. Henry himself who is now a sky sports pundit, offered his help to Martial if he ever needed it.
It is clear to all that Martial is an up and coming goal getter, scoring 9 goals in 36 League 1 games his second season at Monaco. He had also scored once this season for the principality club in three outings. The goals are not of chance, Martial is a born goal scorer who isn’t afraid to get into goal scoring positions and is not afraid of big occasions as he showed in last season’s Champions League last sixteen tie against arsenal. At 5ft 11 inches, Martial also offers united a service in the air though heading is not one of his biggest and best traits. His ability to get past a man is also something many utd fans should look forward to and realise why at the age of 19, Martial has been likened to Thierry Henry.
After a summer of speculation over who Van Gaal would bring in to support Wayne Rooney in the striking role and links to the likes of Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Thomas Muller, Edinson Cavani, it seems Martial is the way to go for Utd. Many eyes will be on him when he will most likely make his Man Utd bow against Liverpool on Saturday 12th September, 2015.