Anthony Martial not the answer, but he can't be written off

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Manchester United smashed the record transfer fee for a teenager on transfer deadline day by splashing the cash on 19-year-old striker Anthony Martial, dubbed the next Thierry Henry.

But who is Anthony Martial, you ask? A question asked by many it seems. He's French, 19, signed from AS Monaco in Ligue 1 and is uncapped at full international level despite being called up to Didier Deschamp’s France squad several times.

His goal scoring record for Monaco across all competitions was 1 in 4.5, which has raised enough doubts over the youngster's ability to justify such a fee.


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Nevertheless, you need look no further than to when Arsene Wenger produced some transfer genius by signing the reasonably-unknown Thierry Henry and Nicholas Anelka in the late 90s. Both went on to become two of the most deadly strikers the Premier League has seen, especially Thierry Henry, and enjoyed successful careers both in England and abroad.

Was Martial a panic buy? Arguably, yes, but Louis van Gaal is an intelligent manager well aware of the risk that he has taken on such a young player - pull it off and he'll be heralded as a genius; fail and he looks like a fool.

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United have been struggling of late for attacking firepower owed largely to their lack of attacking options, and therefore needed a signing of this kind.

With Javier Hernandez, Adnan Januzaj, Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie all departing for Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea and Fenerbahce respectively, Van Gaal was relying heavily on Wayne Rooney, with just James Wilson the only out-and-out striking back up.

It's safe to say that if he wanted his team to be serious contenders then he would need to bolster his strike force, and time will tell if he has operated well in the market. Martial will undoubtedly be relishing the opportunity to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world brimming with talent, and to play alongside Rooney can only but aid his development.

Next up for United is a tough game against ferocious rivals Liverpool, and Martial will be hoping to earn his first appearance nice and early to hit the ground running for the Red Devils.

He might not have been what United ultimately needed - Van Gaal ought to have brought in an established striker guaranteed to score goals - but if Martial can achieve his potential United might well have an upcoming star on their hands.

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