The Manchester United fans have been in fine voice in the Transfer Tavern this week after watching their side record a priceless 3-2 victory over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium last weekend, but recent reports regarding the future of Anthony Martial have given them legitimate cause for concern.
The resident Red Devils propping up our bar were finally given something to shout about last weekend as their heroes staged a dramatic second-half comeback to clinch a famous victory in the Manchester derby. After months of watching on with a combination of envy and disappointment at City’s dominance in English football, it was about time United’s players restored some pride back into the club by walking away from the Etihad with all three points.
However, the result will not change the outcome of the title this season, as it is only a matter of time before Pep Guardiola’s side collect the points needed to secure their third Premier League title in the space of six seasons. With that to consider, Mourinho has a huge summer task ahead of him in the transfer market, as he will need to overhaul his squad to ensure United keep pace with City during the next campaign.
The United supporters will be happy to wave goodbye to the likes of Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian this summer, but according to reports from French media outlet RMC Sport, United may be forced to sell Anthony Martial at the end of the season. Martial has rejected a contract extension on his current deal which expires in June 2019 in order to force a move away from the club according to the report.
A deal which saw Martial (valued at £58.5 million by Transfermarkt) leave Old Trafford would certainly be a backwards step for the club, but the decrease in competition for places on the left-wing could prove to be beneficial for Marcus Rashford’s development. Rashford’s first-team opportunities have been somewhat limited this season as he has only made 14 starts in the Premier League and just 3 in the Champions League.
A major reason for Mourinho’s decision to use him sparingly relates to Martial’s presence in the squad. Both Rashford and Martial share a similar playing style, so the two players are difficult to incorporate within the same starting line-up.
With Lukaku firmly established as United’s first-choice striker it seems unlikely that Rashford will be given an opportunity in his natural position anytime soon, but the departure of Martial will hand him a golden opportunity to cement his place as Mourinho’s first-choice left-winger next season.
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