Tottenham Hotspur are set to suffer yet another blow to their transfer plans for the summer as latest reports claim that Manchester United are looking towards activating Anthony Martial’s release clause agreement. As per the deal, the Frenchman will have a set value on his sale but will also be tied to the club until the summer of 2020. Since failing to make the 23-man cut in Didier Deschamps’ squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Martial has been heavily linked with a move away from Old Trafford, Spurs being the leaders in the race. However, Mauricio Pochettino has also not come forth with an official offer yet or begun negotiation talks.
Martial’s departure from Old Trafford seemed highly likely after the lack of regular first-team involvement this past term. This led to Deschamps choosing regular starters like Kylian Mbappe, Thomas Lemar and Ousmane Dembele over the former Monaco striker. Hardly anyone can fault the France head coach over his decision since his team’s ultimate victory in the international stage.
The rotational role has also halted the development of Martial since his £36m switch from Monaco in the summer of 2015. His involvement for the Red Devils have reduced significantly after his debut season under Louis Van Gaal. Initially, he was the uncontested number nine and was lighting up the Premier League with his prolific scoring and dribbling abilities.
However, right on Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s arrival from Paris Saint-Germain, the 22-year-old got shifted to his second position of choice, the left wing. Martial did well on the flanks but had to share his minutes with another talented youngster and an England international, Marcus Rashford.
Now, Romelu Lukaku is Jose Mourinho’s leading starter up top with Alexis Sanchez filling in on the left flank on a mammoth-sized contract. Jesse Lingard is also expected to receive increased minutes since impressing for his country in the World Cup. One can see the difficult path set up for Martial in the upcoming season and the lengths he will have to go to in order to guarantee a starting berth.
Maybe a transfer would not be such a bad idea but Tottenham have to take a stronger initiative. The North London side somehow managed to grab a top-four spot last term and will have to make the necessary additions to finally register some silverware. The competition is not getting any easier in the Premier League and Martial could be the figure to turn things around for them.