Talent alone not enough to succeed at Manchester United

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Talent alone not enough to succeed at Manchester United


If Anthony Martial leaves Manchester United this summer, then Jose Mourinho would prefer the club did not sell him to a Premier League rival.

The France international has a year left on his current contract and has been linked with moves to Chelsea and Tottenham, as well as Juventus and Bayern Munich.

He started just 18 league games last season and failed to make France’s final 23-man squad for their victorious World Cup campaign.

“He must be looking at France and thought he was good enough to be in that squad,” The Guardian’s Manchester football correspondent Jamie Jackson told talkSPORT.

When Martial joined the club for £36m in 2015, the 19-year-old became British football’s most expensive teenager and initially flourished under manager Louis van Gaal. However, the forward has fallen out of favour under Mourinho, who is said to have doubts about his ability to focus and perform consistently.

Rooney played with Martial at Man United

Rooney played with Martial at Man United

Former United captain Wayne Rooney, though, claimed the club would be making a huge mistake if they cash in on.

“I think Martial, ability-wise, is incredible,” he told Alan Brazil.

“Knowing Anthony the way I know him I think if you can get the best out of him, he’s up there ability-wise with the best in the league.”

Jackson agrees with Rooney about Martial’s talent, but also thinks other factors come into play.

“In my opinion you have to be self-motivated. He’s now 22 and in the modern game, having been at United for three years, that’s quite a seasoned pro.

“I’m lucky enough to see most of United’s home games and Martial is in and out of that side; Mourinho gives him the chance. People may ask why he doesn’t get five or six games on the bounce and it’s basically because he doesn’t do enough to deserve that.

“Wayne Rooney is right. He is phenomenal and if you remember under Van Gaal in the FA Cup semi-final he scored the winner [against Everton in 2016] and played in all of the final [as United beat Palace 2-1] and scored 17 goals that season when he was the no.9.

Martial celebrates his goal against Everton in the FA Cup semi-final

Martial celebrates his goal against Everton in the FA Cup semi-final

“But since then, [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic came in, took the jersey and there’s been a little bit of an attitude and I’d say not the best one.”

Asked if he believed United were in a strong position to dictate whether or not he joins a Premier League rival, Jackson said the fact England’s transfer window closes earlier than the rest of Europe helped as does the fact United could activate a clause in his contract which would tie Martial to the club until 2020, increasing his market value.

“They don’t have to let him go, though obviously no club or manager wants to keep a player who wants to leave. So I’m not saying he won’t go to a rival like Chelsea, but I don’t think there’s much of a will from the club or Mourinho to let that happen.

Mourinho will allow Martial to leave United if the player wants to go

Mourinho will allow Martial to leave United if the player wants to go

“He might have gone to Juventus if Ronaldo hadn’t’ gone there, for example, and if you look around Europe there may be other takers.”

The Times report that Bayern is a likely destination for Martial, but the German champions would have to smash their transfer record to sign him. The most expensive transfer in Bayern’s history was the £37.35 million signing of Corentin Tolisso from Lyon in 2017. The club may even offer Arturo Vidal or Jerome Boateng as part of the deal.

“There is a heck of a player there,” Jackson added, before revealing he hopes Martial’s career doesn’t follow the same path as Nicolas Anelka’s once he left Arsenal in 1999.

Former Gunners midfielder-turned-talkSPORT presenter, Ray Parlour has continuously claimed Anelka could have been as good as Thierry Henry or Dennis Bergkamp, but failed to properly apply himself.

Having arrived from Paris Saint-Germain as a 17-year-old in 1997 then making a mockery of Jaap Stam before going on to score 28 goals in 90 games for the club, he quickly became disillusioned with life in north London and left for Real Madrid. It didn’t work out and he spent the remaining years playing at various clubs around Europe.





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