Manchester United are on the verge of signing Jadon Sancho. And, with that the case, Anthony Martial has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford. However, just weeks ago, it emerged Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had talked with the Glazers about the France international – stressing his importance to the side.
Manchester United are, at long last, close to securing Sancho’s signing.
An agreement with Borussia Dortmund over a fee has been reached and the 21-year-old has even told his England team-mates he’ll be strutting his stuff at Old Trafford next term.
Since then, it’s emerged Martial could be sold.
The France international endured a troublesome campaign last time out, scoring just seven goals across all competitions.
And, even before injury cruelly struck to end his season, he’d fallen behind Edinson Cavani in the Old Trafford pecking order.
With Sancho primed to join, the 25-year-old may find his chances of regular action diminished next term.
After all, Solskjaer no longer relies on him to be the main No 9 at the club and the arrival of another wide player means his path to a starting berth has become complicated.
But the Daily Mail stated at the end of May that the Norwegian had stressed Martial’s importance to the club’s powerbrokers.
It was claimed the United manager had told the Glazers that an attack consisting of Martial, Sancho, Cavani Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood is good enough to propel his side to title glory next term.
So it seems unlikely the club will jettison him, even if Sancho’s move is mere steps away.
The question for Solskjaer is, however, what version of the France international will he be getting next season?
There’s no denying Martial has talent. He started his time with the club in fine form, scoring 17 goals across all competitions during his maiden campaign under Louis van Gaal.
Following the appointment of Jose Mourinho, however, the hitman struggled for consistency.
Martial was one of United’s best players under Solskjaer in the 2019/2020 campaign, scoring 23 goals – more than any other player on the club’s books.
But his regression last term shows that he’s still somebody battling to achieve the consistency the great players on the planet all possess.
However, if Martial proves his critics wrong, United will be onto a winner.
And the prospect of the France international getting back to his best, playing alongside Sancho and Co, seems to be why Solskjaer is so keen for him to stay.
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Speaking recently, Liverpool legend and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher recently expressed a belief that Martial wasn’t good enough to lead the line on a weekly basis.
“I think they could maybe improve at centre-back but they need a young Cavani, basically. That’s what the club needs,” he said.
“They’ve persisted with Anthony Martial as the striker for a couple of years.
“He’s a good player, but I don’t think he’s a great player who’ll take them to a Premier League or Champions League title, which is what they need.
“So two players at both ends of the pitch – a centre-back and a centre forward – and then I don’t think they’re that far away.”
Carragher also expressed a belief the Red Devils needed ‘one or two’ additions to close the gap on Manchester City.
“It would be a jump, of course it would be,” he said.
“But I actually think Man Utd get too much criticism for what they’re doing right now. Man City are phenomenal… we’re talking about a team who were on the verge of doing the quadruple and could still do a treble.
“Man Utd are 10 points behind but when you see the distance that some teams in second and third have been behind [the champions in the past], 10 points doesn’t sound too bad to me.
“We’re talking about a team who haven’t lost away from home in the Premier League this season and I think they’ve only lost one game in their last 20 or so in all competitions – in the FA Cup at Leicester – they come from behind to win games, so I think there’s a lot to be excited about.
“They’ll need one or two players in the summer but that’ll be the same for every team.”