It’s official: Anthony Martial is our new number 9. If you want to know more about football’s most expensive teenager in history, read on…
French journalist Philippe Auclair described Anthony Martial as “a versatile attacking player who can play as a half nine, right winger and play as a lone striker.” This versatility immediately jumps out, because with Adnan Januzaj leaving for Borussia Dortmund on loan, and Javier Hernandez sold to Bayer Leverkusen, Martial will give United options in different attacking positions, whether on the wing or as a second striker behind Wayne Rooney.
Auclair also described Martial as being “lightning quick, with good technique, good skill and good finishing.” He has conceded, however, “he is still a raw product.” It is clear that since he is 19, he will not be scoring 30 goals in a season now, but in the future, he could end up being capable of doing so for Manchester United. We may well see him appearing more on the wing to begin with, which may compensate somewhat for United’s failure to capture Pedro.
Martial striker has been at Monaco for two seasons, after he signed from Lyon’s youth team for a reported £3.5 million to balance the books of a club in financial difficulty. Even when he was signed in 2013, many football analysts and experts were touting Martial as a potential world-class talent, and right now comparisons with Thierry Henry are catching everyone’s imagination.
According to Squawka, Anthony Martial made 35 Ligue 1 appearances for the Principality club, 20 of which were starts. In those 35 matches, Martial scored 9 goals, making him joint top goal scorer for Monaco, alongside Portuguese winger Bernardo Silva. Last season, Monaco, under Portuguese manager Leonardo Jardim, played in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Lucas Ocampos, Bernardo Silva and Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco behind Anthony Martial as lone striker. Ocampos was with Monaco until January 2015, when he went on loan to Olympique Marseille. After Ocampos’ exit, Monaco played with either Nabil Dirar or Matheus Carvalho. This season, the 4-2-3-1 formation has been kept, with Martial being given support from Milan loanee Stephan El Shaarawy, Bernardo Silva and Thomas Lemar – another promising French attacker.
Many will be perplexed at the fact that Manchester United are going to pay £36 million for a player who has not quite reached astronomical heights, but Anthony Martial is only 19. Playing in a 4-2-3-1 at Monaco will help him ease into Manchester United’s formation under Louis van Gaal, whilst playing with an experienced striker like Wayne Rooney should help him develop his talent. If given the chance to sign a striker, many United supporters would have gone for Alexandre Lacazette, but given the similar price tag and qualities, Anthony Martial could prove to be better investment in the long term.
In case you want to see a good highlight reel of Anthony Martial, I highly recommend watching ScoutNationHD’s video on YouTube.