Manchester United forward Anthony Martial has had a mixed bag in terms of his experiences at Old Trafford since joining the club in 2015.
The 21-year-old hit the headlines when it was reported that he was joining the Red Devils in a £36m deal, a fee which could eventually rise to £58m with clauses inserted by his former club AS Monaco.
Given the fee paid for him, he had a huge weight placed on his shoulders despite his young age, with many expecting him to justify his high price tag, in which exceeded the world record fee paid for a teenager.
However, then United boss Louis Van Gaal played down the expectations, with the Dutchman speaking highly of the club’s acquisition and the bags of potential the player possesses.
Performs well when given the chance
The Frenchman has performed well when given the opportunity, and recently showcased his remarkable ability in the Red Devils’ 3-1 victory over Arsenal, in which he threaded in a sublime through ball for Lingard to bury with consummate ease.
This will certainly send a stern message to United boss Jose Mourinho that he deserves a starting berth on a regular basis.
Under Mourinho however, increased competition up front was apparent upon the signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as well as Marcus Rashford seeing an increase in first-team opportunities. Martial was used mainly on the left as an attacking midfielder or left forward and this saw his goal tally suffer, scoring a total of 8 goals in all competitions throughout the 2016-17 season.
Martial last season made a total of 29 appearances in all competitions, in which 13 were made from the bench. The forward failed to build upon a successful first season in 2015-16 with the Red Devils, in which he ended the season with 17 goals in all competitions.
Future in question
Across the continent, clubs have expressed an interest in taking Martial on loan, including Sevilla in the January transfer window.
A temporary move could give the forward an opportunity to build upon his array of talent, yet in spite of this, Mourinho has reiterated that Martial’s future lies firmly at Old Trafford.
This summer, Martial’s future at United has again been thrown into doubt, if a reported move for one of United’s reported targets is anything to go by.
Should the club go for Perisic?
The Red Devils had been heavily linked with a move throughout the summer for Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic, leading many to believe than an exit from Old Trafford was imminent for the Frenchman, whether permanent or otherwise.
Negotiations were held over the summer to sign the Croat with United Chairman Ed Woodward in a disagreement over his transfer fee, with Inter said to be holding out for a £46m figure which United were unwilling to match.
The Croat would fill a role that Martial has been used in heavily on the left flank, however with Perisic arguably in the peak of his career, will he be a preferred option to Martial should he make the move to Old Trafford?
Written by Cristian Fry
Follow Cristian on Twitter @CristianF99
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