Man United Would be Foolish If They Let Anthony Martial Leave

Anthony Martial showed in a recent friendly win over Real Madrid that he has the precious talent that could see him become a world class performer at Manchester United sooner rather than later.

Reports today suggest that the young Frenchman could be on his way to Inter Milan. The Serie A giants want Martial in any deal that sees winger Ivan Perisic move to Old Trafford. Some speculate that Martial would only go on a season long loan, while others suggest that Inter will insist on having a clause inserted into the deal that would allow them to sign Anthony on a permanent basis next summer.

If I were Jose Mourinho, I’d be dead against letting the exciting forward go.

When Jose joined many queried about his ability to handle young players and get them to perform on a regular basis for the first team. United have a rich history of getting the very best from the younger players within their pool of talent.

Mourinho stated that he would do his upmost to give youngsters a chance at United. So to offload a gifted player like Martial could be seen as a defeat for the manager in the eyes of many Man Utd fans.

The twenty-one year old came with a huge price tag in 2015 but he settled in really well and quickly too. As youngsters do, he showed no fear and his skill-set was well liked by the United faithful.

His debut goal against Liverpool was a joyful moment and it seemed he was well on his way in becoming a club legend and the next great superstar.

He finished his debut season with seventeen goals in forty-nine appearances for the ‘Red Devils’.

The hitman would then go on and represent France at the Euros. By that stage he looked tired and in need of a rest. I think his below average performances at those championships probably dented his confidence.

Then Jose arrived onto the scene at Carrington.

Instantly you could tell that the Portuguese boss wanted to use Martial differently. He gave the star’s number nine shirt to the incoming Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Anthony was then handed the number eleven jersey. It was obvious that Mourinho felt the attacker was going to be better off out on one of the wings.

Martial’s already suffering confidence would have taken another pummelling with that decision. You could tell that he wanted to play as the main striker and get the glory of scoring the goals.

He had to adapt to his new role and he didn’t adapt as quickly as Jose would’ve wanted. That would mean that Martial would spend a lot of last season coming in and out of the starting line-up.

Mourinho has came out this pre-season and asked for more consistency from the French internationalist:

“He is a young player. He still has time to learn, to improve and develop,” 

“We want more consistency in his talent.”

Martial has to heed his gaffer’s advice but I wonder if Jose could learn to adapt his own approach when handling Anthony.

I remember him asking Eden Hazard for more consistency in his first season back at Chelsea but then in his second year he would make an effort to praise the Belgian maestro at every opportunity. It worked wonders as Hazard would become player of the year and Chelsea would win the Premier League title.

Obviously you can still work with him on the training field to improve his defensive awareness and his deliveries into the penalty area.

Anthony Martial, for me, has the ability and qualities to reach the same level Hazard is at. He just needs a boost in confidence. The forward has great pace, quick feet and a good presence of mind on where the ball is and where it should be.

Against Real his directness and his ability on the ball turned defenders inside out as he’d go on and give Jesse Lingard a tap in. He showed right there than he can master the left-wing role. He just needs more game time and probably a bit more praise too.

Honestly I think he could easily be one of the Premier League’s best strikers one day, if he can get another chance through the middle. His likeness to Thierry Henry really is uncanny and his instinct in-front of goal is sublime.

Hopefully Jose will give him and Marcus Rashford the chance to partner Romelu Lukaku up-top at points during this season.

All in all I think it would be a huge mistake to offload Anthony Martial this summer. He has all the talent in the world and it’s up to the Man United management team to get the best out of him and to get it on a weekly basis.

Plus I am not sure signing Croat Perisic can be seen as an upgrade. He only created two more assist’s than Martial last term, even though he started thirteen more matches. He also doesn’t possess the same pace and is six years older.

Get Ivan Perisic by all means, just don’t do it if it means you lose Martial.

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