How Will Anthony Martial Fit in at His Rumoured Clubs and Where's Best?

James Budgen

Barcelona

Loan deals seem to be the only kind of signings that Barcelona are able to make at this moment in time with their financial situation looking precarious, but a pursuit for Martial may depend on the departure of Ousmane Dembele, who may leave the club this month due to his refusal to sign a new contract.

Martial’s best seasons at Man Utd came when he played as a striker, in his first season at the club in 2015/16, and the 2019/20 season scoring 17 times in the former. At Barcelona they have two strikers, one with a similar playstyle in Memphis Depay and one opposite to him in Luuk De Jong, however, with Memphis having some injury troubles over the last few years, there may be some opportunities for Martial at the Nou Camp.

At Barcelona they like their players to be specific to their possession-based system, whilst utilising high pressing under Xavi. This may not suit Martial’s style, though he does drop deep to collect the ball as he prefers to dribble with it, rather than finding the next pass which may disrupt their system. Typically, the United forward isn’t the hardest worker off the ball when pressing, which may again cause some problems defensively.

Despite not suiting Barca's style of play, the 26-year-old may get the opportunities that could improve his reputation in Europe back towards where it once was, especially with the players in his position having a history with injuries, meaning that taking a chance on the former Golden Boy winner could work out nicely for Xavi's side.

Juventus

Like Barcelona, Juventus are enduring a difficult season compared to their usual standards, with their attack faltering them many times this campaign, leaving them with the lowest number of goals in the top eight of Serie A.

With the news that Federico Chiesa will miss the rest of the season with an ACL injury, Juventus will need a player that can play on the wing and as a striker to cover for his absence, as well as having sold Cristiano Ronaldo to United last summer, leaving the Old Lady with a significant goal deficit.

Serie A may be more suited to Martial’s style of football, with there being less of an emphasis on the strikers doing defensive work high up the pitch, especially under Massimiliano Allegri, who sets his teams up to defend deep, to set up his forwards for counter-attacking opportunities.

In the 2019/20 season when United were primarily a counter-attacking team under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Martial had the best season of his career to date. The Frenchman had space to run into, allowing him to use his elite dribbling ability when teams are out of position in transition, meaning that the Juventus Stadium could be the best place available for him to showcase his attributes.

Serie A has been a place where a lot of players have gone to revitalise their careers, Romelu Lukaku, is a similar case, as his career stalled out in Manchester, and Inter Milan was the best place for the Belgian to showcase his ability. The management of Antonio Conte helped to boost his confidence, resulting in good performances that nearly doubled the transfer fee he had initially arrived for.

Sevilla

With other teams in La Liga struggling this season, Sevilla have found themselves as part of a title race, with Julen Lopetegui's side currently sitting second in the table, five points off Real Madrid, with a game in hand. The Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan club have found themselves with an unlikely opportunity to win the league, meaning that the addition of both quality and depth to their squad could significantly boost their chances of winning the title.

Former Wolverhampton Wanderers forward Rafa Mir is Sevilla’s top scorer so far this season with just six goals from 24 appearances. Mir's statistics and the fact that Sevilla have only scored three or more goals in a game three times this season suggests that attacking depth may be needed for the second half of the campaign if their great defensive record doesn’t hold up.

Sevilla could be a very good fit for Martial, as they have a lot of quality in their squad, and joining a team that has the potential to win a title could bring the best out of the French forward. If the 26-year-old provides the attacking quality that sustains their title challenge in his loan spell, he could find a new home in Seville with a permanent move being likely.

However, with his large wages, reports are that Man Utd will have to cover some of his £250,000 per week, which they are supposedly unwilling to do, meaning that Martial may have to take a wage cut to move to the La Liga outfit, which is rumoured to be his preferred move.


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