The Hard Tackle speculates three potential destinations for Manchester United star Anthony Martial, who could be on his way out of Old Trafford in the summer.
Following a 2020/21 campaign that can be largely deemed as a successful one, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, it seems, is already planning ahead for the new season, if reports from The Sun are to be believed.
The club has recently appointed Darren Fletcher in the new role of technical director and it appears, he, along with newly-appointed football director John Murtough, Solskjaer and Ed Woodward are set to hold a meeting regarding the club’s transfer policy in the upcoming summer transfer window.
A new striker is reportedly on the agenda for Manchester United, who are unlikely to offer Edinson Cavani a new contract extension. However, another established player who is now facing an uncertain future at Old Trafford is Anthony Martial.
The Frenchman has had problems with his consistency this season, and the Manchester United hierarchy could be open to accepting offers for the attacker in the upcoming summer transfer window, although a definitive decision has not yet been made.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will take a look at potential destinations for Anthony Martial next season, should he quit Manchester United in the summer.
FC Barcelona are, without a doubt, in need of attacking reinforcements in the summer. Although it seems the future of Lionel Messi can be saved by the newly-elected president Joan Laporta, the lack of depth around him is concerning, even for the short term.
One of the biggest issues for FC Barcelona is injuries that have kept the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Ansu Fati and Ousmane Dembele on the sidelines for the chunk of the ongoing campaign.
To add to that, Coutinho and Antoine Griezmann are both facing an uncertain future at the club, with the latter recently being linked with a swap deal with Juventus. It should further accentuate the need for a new striker next season and that is where someone like Anthony Martial could be a smart option.
Although the Frenchman is no Luis Suarez, he can offer that little bit of depth in quality, as well as the dynamism and pace that could potentially revitalize the Barcelona attack next season.
It is also fair to point out that Martial can play anywhere across the frontline, meaning he can not only be utilized as a cover for Griezmann and Messi but also for the wide players, although the Man United star does possess enough quality to get ahead of Martin Braithwaite in the pecking order.
Barcelona, however, are not the most financially stable club at the moment, so their potential pursuit of Martial could hinge on Manchester United’s valuation on their star forward, should they choose to offload him in the summer.
Juventus’ early exit from the UEFA Champions League is sure to have a grave impact on the future of Cristiano Ronaldo at the club. Various reports from the Italian media already suggests that the Portuguese international could be on his way out of Turin in the summer and is reportedly looking for new suitors.
His potential departure, combined with the struggles of Paulo Dybala, are sure to usher in a transitional phase at Juventus – forcing the club to prioritise a move for a new centre-forward who can carry the torch forward.
Martial is one such option, given his vast experience at the highest level of football, coupled with the dynamism in his play that should add that extra little sharpness in a Juventus attack that still remains overly reliant on the productivity of Ronaldo.
From a tactical perspective, Martial can be used alongside Alvaro Morata in the two-man Juventus frontline, with the Frenchman providing the movement and the work-ethic to his partner’s productivity, although coach Andrea Pirlo might be tempted to find an upgrade over Morata in the summer.
The Bianconeri shouldn’t have too many problems affording Martial either, especially if they offload Ronaldo, as well as a couple of other star players including Aaron Ramsey in the summer.
The second Spanish club on this list, Real Madrid are another club that will be desperate to bolster their attacking options as they prepare themselves for a potential squad overhaul in the summer. One of the biggest problems Los Blancos have faced this season is the lack of depth in the attacking unit, with Zinedine Zidane having very little options to choose from.
Additionally, the likes of Eden Hazard and Marco Asensio have struggled with injuries while Mariano Diaz and Isco have lacked form. Real Madrid had also offloaded a host of attacking players, either on loan or on a permanent basis, including Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez, Martin Odegaard, Brahim Diaz and Luka Jovic among others.
While many of them will return to Santiago Bernabeu in the summer, most are likely to head towards the exit door, with the club reportedly putting a €30 million valuation on Bale recently.
Zidane, therefore, will be desperate to buy multiple attacking players in order to offer support for Karim Benzema in the number nine role.
The Frenchman should definitely welcome the arrival of his fellow countryman in Martial, who has the talent to become a real star at Bernabeu, ideally because of his pace and aggression that makes him a tailor-made fit under the tactical philosophy of Zidane.
Indeed, the Manchester United star can either be considered as an alternative for Benzema in the number nine or supporting player out wide. The traits he offers to the table should complement and perhaps help Benzema to further improve his productivity in the final third.
From a financial perspective, Real Madrid have been hit by the pandemic but are likely to recover once they get rid of fringe players like Bale, Isco and Diaz in the upcoming summer transfer window – effectively paving the way for Zidane to take a gamble on Martial.