Manchester United are reportedly close to signing AS Monaco striker Anthony Martial for around £36M at the end of the summer transfer window. Manager Louis van Gaal has identified a goalscorer he feels can improve upon what they already have in attack, while potentially taking the burden off Wayne Rooney. The Red Devils’ pursuit of Martial has come as a surprise to supporters given his young age and meagre record for goals, so what can United expect from their proposed target?
Martial, 19, only recently joined Monaco, signing from Olympique Lyonnais in 2013. He made only three league appearances for his former side before the switch, and has since gone on to score 15 times in 69 games for his new club. Hardly a prolific tally, and his lofty asking price is raising a host of questions about United’s scouting team. The Red Devils knew they were thin on attacking options this season after selling Robin van Persie, but they didn’t seem to have any one lined up to come in.
Van Gaal seemed happy to let Wayne Rooney take the mantle of United’s first-choice striker, but the England internationals poor start to the new Premier League season is seeing him now considering his options. Javier Hernandez is the side’s other option up front, but his future is being speculated about amid rumours of interest from Bayern Leverkusen. Martial ha only extended with deal with Monaco in June this year, which bumped up his asking price to well over the odds.
United need an experienced striker who can come straight in to give Rooney competition, or play alongside him. Martial is very much a future star, who could struggle to adjust to the Premier League at such a fragile age. After finishing in the top-four last season, Van Gaal has to keep making positive steps to ensure the side will win a title once his three-year tenure at the club comes to an end. Supporters won’t be convinced with the signing of Martial, especially when Hernandez is desperate for game time.
And for such a large price, many are asking why United haven’t looked at another target for their attack. There are surely plenty other strikers who would provide a more-proven acquisition for £40M in the transfer market? Is Van Gaal making a big mistake plunging so much money on an unproven youngster? Is Martial really enough on his own to turn Manchester United into genuine contenders for the Premier League title this season?