Manchester United's signing of Anthony Martial is ridiculous

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It's hard not to feel a little sorry for Anthony Martial. Overnight he has gone from an exciting young prospect at Monaco to a household name following his deadline day transfer to Manchester United. He is now the most expensive teenager ever after his £36 million move, which is frankly a ludicrous price to pay for a player who has not yet proven anything at the top level. 

For his personal career trajectory, perhaps it would have been beneficial for the young Frenchman to have stayed at Monaco for another season.

He had recently been rewarded with the departing Dimitar Berbatov's No.9 shirt and had started the season brightly as Monaco's first choice centre forward. His return of nine goals in 42 appearances last season would point to undoubted potential, but the player needed to improve his consistency before being tested at the very top level. The move may have come a bit soon for the youngster who has just been called up to Didier Deschamps' squad for the upcoming international friendlies.


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Monaco, too, had been planning for the new season with Martial in their ranks, after having rebuffed advances for their prized asset earlier in the transfer window from Tottenham.

Manchester United's offer, however, was evidently too good for Monaco to turn down and confirmed what we already knew about the top clubs' omnipotence in transfer dealings - if a big club wants somebody, more often than not, they will sign them.

United exposure 

This deal has exposed a number of things about United. Firstly it illustrates Louis van Gaal's lack of foresight in the transfer window. He reportedly targeted A-list stars like Thomas Muller and Gareth Bale, whose services their clubs were always going to want to keep.

Then he let bitter rivals Chelsea steal a march on the signing of Pedro from Barcelona, a player who cost around half of what they paid for Martial and who is an established world-class talent, as he has already shown in his encouraging early appearances for his new club. Martial may well turn out to be a good piece of business, however, the transfer has unearthed van Gaal's almost Wenger-esque approach in waiting for the opportune moment to sign a player that actually never arrives, and was never going to arrive, such as with Bale and Muller. 

The signing of Martial is also a reminder of the immense financial thrust that United possess. After having already spent just under £100 million on the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin, Memphis Depay, Matteo Darmian and Bastian Schweinsteiger, to be able to fork out a further £58 million is incredible, especially for a player as untested as Martial is.


The teenager is exactly the sort of player that the Red Devils have been looking for, but then so again was Pedro. Strong, direct and quick, he will be an asset to this rather toothless United team. He is undoubtedly one of the most promising young talents in the game, but don't van Gaal's side need a ready-made superstar to slot straight into the first XI?

With the pressure and constant scrutiny of the English media, Martial's precocious talent won't get the breathing space it needs to adjust and develop and due to his hefty transfer fee, pressure will be placed on him from the off. 

United's desperation for another attacking player meant that Monaco were able to bump up the fee, but for Martial he just needs to focus on his game. He will no doubt get the appearances he needs for his development following Javier Hernandez's departure from the club, but perhaps he would have been better off plying his trade as Monaco's main man for another season before he made the step up to the 'Big Time'. It's not his fault he cost so much money, but now the world will be watching to see if he's actually worth his weight in goals. 

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Louis van Gaal
AS Monaco
Manchester United

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