Promising youngster signs for fallen North-west Premiership giants for a fee believed to be in excess of 35 million. As the famous Smiths song goes 'stop me if you think you've heard this one before'.
Five and a half years ago, Liverpool were busy spending a large chunk of the Fernando Torres fee on a promising young talent, that was being labelled the `new´ Alan Shearer.
The player in question was Andy Carroll, a youngster that had scored twelve goals for Newcastle in the Premiership, before Liverpool paid an extravagant fee for his relatively unproven talent.
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Today, Manchester United are close to a deal for Monaco 19-year-old Anthony Martial. The talented French youngster scored twelve goals last season for the principality club. His exploits have garnered him the tag of the 'new' Thierry Henry.
Apparently United have decided that this precocious talent can be the perfect back-up to misfiring icon Wayne Rooney. Like their great rivals, the Red Devils are aiming to appease fans appalled at how far their stock has fallen in recent years.
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But just as back in the January window of 2010, the Old Trafford club's last-minute over-the-odds spend on a burgeoning talent, smacks of desperation. Martial has yet to win his first cap for France, although he is included in Didier Deschamps squad this week.
Twelve goals in any league at such a young age, is no mean feat. Yet to fork out a hefty sum of money on a youngster is a massive gamble.
Comparisons will be made with Wayne Rooney´s capture twelve years ago, but the young man from Croxteth had come off the back of a four-goal salvo for England in the European Championships.
He also had two years of Premier League experience to his name. It was a gamble that was always likely to pay off.
Time will tell whether the Martial signing proves to be stroke of genius à la Rooney, or an expensive flop. Louis van Gaal and Ed Woodward are putting their reputations on the line.
If he turns out to be the missing ingredient needed to fire United back to the top, this could be their Eric Cantona moment.
If Martial fails to make the grade, and is sold on for a fraction of the original fee, then his will not be the only reputation to suffer.
Manchester United fans, is Anthony Martial the right move or just a panic buy? Have your say below!
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