Anthony Martial’s entrance into the EPL wasn’t quiet, although no one expected it to be when the 19 year-old was transferred from Monaco to Old Trafford to the tune of 58 million pounds setting the record for the highest transfer fee for a 19 year-old ever in EPL history.
Martial has scored four times in four appearances for Manchester United and has had an immediate impact in the Premier League which has brought out the arrogance in his agent Phillippe Lamboley, who during an interview on Radio RMC called out Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger for passing on the young striker and evaluating Martial as a winger rather than striker.
“If the analysis of Wenger was to justify not having signed Anthony, then I accept his words and so he’s a a winger. But in football there are those who follow players and those that buy them… I am surprised by the analysis of Wenger, who has apparently followed him since he was an adolescent.”
Wenger has not held back from the comments, repeating his stance that Martial has spent much more time playing on the wing and that he was given the impression from Monaco that the club would never sell Martial.
“But Monaco’s statement was always that the two players that would not move were Martial and [Layvin] Kurzawa, so I thought they would maintain that. But in the end both of them moved.”
Kudos to Arsene for holding steadfast to his analysis on Martial in the face of overwhelming contradictory evidence, but really, the idea that any player cannot be bought is laughable. Wenger simply didn’t want to take the monetary risk on “the next Thierry Henry”. The only transfer made for Arsenal in the window was for Petr Cech, who while a world-class talent, is undeniably entering the latter phases of his career. United manager Van Gaal has nothing but praise for the ground-breaking athlete.
“It is a little bit of luck, but of course the main thing is his quality…His personality is that he is an open guy, he is listening, he is watching, he is focusing on the matches. For a manager, he is a very coachable player – that is also why I bought him.”
An open, eager, naturally talented 19 year-old who listens and is coachable? Under Van Gaal that means there is no ceiling on how good Martial can be in the upcoming years.
Check out Martial’s “Welcome to Manchester United” 2014/2015 highlight reel:
A potential negative of the teen’s immediate impact is that James Wilson, another highly talented 19 year-old up-and-comer for United, has been put on the back-burner. Van Gaal stated in his press conference the possibility of loaning Wilson so that the striker can still log ample playing time,
“We will wait until December to review Wilson’s situation,” the Dutchman added. “We might decide to loan him out.”
Wilson has just signed a new contract with United to stay with the club until June of 2019. He has four goals for the Red Devils since his debut against Hull City in 2014.
When asked about the pressure on Martial as one of the youngest and hottest players in the league right now Van Gaal responds confidently,
“As a player, he has to do it and he has to cope with the pressure.”
“What we have seen until now, he can do it.”
A step further really, thus far, Martial has done it magnificently.