Tag Archives: anthony martial

Arsenal and Manchester United set to repeat Alexis swap deal?

After Wednesday’s blog discussing the need for more balance in the team, one name popped up a few times in my mentions who would be potentially ideal.

Anthony Martial

It is easy to forget that the Manchester United winger is still just 22. He is a year youger than Raheem Sterling, and just a month older than Leroy Sane.

The Frenchman is on par with both with regards to natural talent.

He has had a tough time under Jose Mourinho which has clearly affected his confidence. But this is a player who hit 19 goals in his debut season in England. A figure that puts him between Sterling (23) and Sane (14) for most goals in a season

The statistics for the 3 are not too far off each other. Obviously they can be looked into deeper, breaking down per minute, etc, but I really do not have the energy for that.

Sane is the stand out player when it comes to stats, but he also come to the Premier League as a more established player, where as Sterling broke through as a baby at Liverpool and Martial joining Manchester United as a teenager.

Martial  was always going to have an uphill struggle to justify what seemed like a heafty price tag back in 2015, and this still unfairly hangs over him. Yet two summers on from his big money move from Monaco, is the £36m Man U paid for him really that expensive?

A year later City paid £37million for Sane. He might have been a year older than martial at the time of signing, but had pretty much played the same top level games (Sane 47 Bundesliga games & 11 goals; Martial 49 Ligue 1 games & 11 goals).

Martial was merely the first. He set the benchmark of what players considered as the most talented teenagers in football would cost.

Whilst there has been plenty of talk and speculation over the destination of Aaron Ramsey in recent weeks, and months, Anthony Martial’s contract is also set to expire at the end of the season.

Like with Ramsey, it looked like the two parties were close to agreeing a new deal over the summer, but I am unable to find an article confirming it is complete.

Martial and Ramsey swapping clubs would suit all parties. Arsenal need a wide man, Man U need a central midfielder.

Ramsey would suit Manchester United more than Arsenal at this moment in time. Likewise Martial would fit into the Arsenal time like a glove; providing the width and pace we currently miss in wide positions.

Instead of losing a player on a free at the end of the season that they do not really require, both clubs would be gaining a player that they do want.

From Aaron Ramsey’s point of view, Manchester United are probably the only Premier League club who could match his reported £200k wage demands and offer him the first team football he desires.

As for Martial, Arsenal could dramatically increase his current £75,000 salary to the £115k region, keeping him within the current wage structure.

Martial would get the play time his talent deserves and a coach that promotes free flowing attacking football.

It is a deal that the more I write about, the more I speculate, just makes sense.


Arsenal Targets: 10 Wingers

Everyone agrees that we need a goal keeper, centre back and defensive midfielder next year. But we also need a winger.

Since letting Theo Walcott leave in January, we do not have a natural wide man. Whilst Danny Welbeck can do a job there, we require a speedy wideman who is happy getting chalk on his boots.

Against Atletico Madrid in the first leg, we struggled to change game plan. Over the two legs, we bought on 1 substitution. I expect next season we will play fairly narrow, with Mesut Ozil and Henrik Mkhitaryan playing in behind a single striker.

This means that we need an option on the bench to change things up, take things wider.

Strikers Welbeck, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can play out wide, but it is not their natural game and they will only drift back inside. Likewise with Ozil and Mkhitaryan (alongside Alex Iwobi), both would start out wide but end up inside.

This would result in us making a change to go wider, but not having the players who will stay on the touchline. In turn they drop back inside and the in-game tactical change has not occurred.

Manchester City have Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane who provide excellent foils to Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva and Bernado Silva. Liverpool are also capable of changing things up, even it is using the same personnel.

When they wish to go for width, a simple change of Mo Salah on the left and Sadio Mane on the right completely changes the complexion of the team.

What Arsenal need is a young, intelligent winger. Someone whose natural inclination is to play out wide, but they also versatile enough to play across the front line positions. Someone with natural pace, but technique to match.

So what options are there?

Leon Bailey (Bayer Leverkusen)

The 20-year-old Jamaican has been in sparkling form for the majority of the Bundesliga season and has scored some spectacular goals to help Leverkusen to fourth place and Champions League contention. He ticks every box for Arsenal.

Justin Kluivert (Ajax)

The 19-year-old son of former Holland and Newcastle striker Patrick, young Kluivert is making a name for himself as a winger of note. Already valued in the £40m bracket, the Dutch youngster is perhaps overpriced and Ajax have recently been looking to extend his contract.

A new deal with Ajax would see a huge sell on percentage for both the play and super agent Mino Raiola. This would see him stay in Holland for a couple more years before he is moved on. Arsenal have recently dealt with Raiola in the signing of Henrik Mkhytarian.

Ousmane Dembélé (Barcelona)

The French teenager became the world’s second most expensive player, when he moved to the Camp Nou in a €105m deal, to replace Neymar last summer. However, he suffered a hamstring injury in September, which ruled him out for four months.

He returned in January, but got injured again.

Barcelona are expected to strengthen their forward line with the signing of Atletico Madrid forward, Antoine Griezmann this summer, which could lead to them attempt ro recoup some of their huge outlay on Dembele.

Gelson Martins (Sporting Lisbon)

The 22-year-old is super fast and has been tipped for the top by coach Jorge Jesus. Tottenham, Chelsea and Liverpool have watched the Portugal international extensively and he is a classic-style winger who beats his man and gets the cross over. Arsenal may demand he learns a bit more but certainly has the raw talent and has scored 10 goals.

Malcolm (Bordeaux)

Arsenal were favourites to sign Malcolm in January, but they delayed the deal after the dual signing of Henrik Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang arose.

With Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund now interested in him, Arsenal now face more competition for the Brazilian youngster than they did earlier in the year.

Malcolm himself has come out and said he expects to leave Bordeaux, come the summer. The 21-year-old is a quality winger capable of playing on both wings, and also has the technique to move into the middle when required.

the Gunners are  suddenly set to miss out on a real talent.

Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund)

Has two years left on contract and is regarded as one of the most talented teenagers in the world. The USA international can play on the wing or as a playmaker. He joined Dortmund during the time recruitment was overseen by Arsenal’s Sven Mislintat.

Anthony Martial (Manchester United)

Still just 22, it is incredible to think that Manchester United shocked the footballing world by signing the then teenager for £36 million. What seemed like a crazy price in 2015 would now be considered a good deal.

He has fallen out of favour at under Jose Mourinho and could be looking for a way out this summer. Only questions are around whether he would want to move from Manchester United’s bench to Arsenal’s, and whether he is exactly what we need.

He is not a winger who gets chalk on his boots, more a frustrated forward playing out wide.

Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City)

At 27, the Algerian is perhaps not as young as others on this list, but he his Premier League experience and versatility trumps that.

A £50m move to Manchester City fell through in January. He has 2 years remaining on a 4 year deal that he signed back in 2016, and Leicester City might decide this is the last summer that they can get a decent transfer fee for him.

Whilst we should go no where near the £50m that City had agree, if we can get him for closer to £30m a deal should be done.

And a blog about wingers would not be completed without mentioning the names Julian Draxler and Thomas Lemar.


Arsenal target Manchester United star that outperforms Sanchez & Ozil

Rumours doing the round that Arsenal want to take Manchester United’s Anthony Martial as part of the deal that will see Alexis Sanchez go to the red side of Manchester.

As the below stats shows, Arsenal would be getting a player who is much more efficient than both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.

I was surprised when I pumped the names into the SQUAWKA COMPARISON MATRIX. Whilst I expected Martial to not be too far in terms of minutes per goal and assist last season, I did not expect to see him ahead of both.

“Minutes per” statistics will often favour the player who plays less minutes, but it is undeniable that Martial is an impressive player.

He currently averages a goal every 3.4 games in the Premier League. A decent figure when you consider 15% of his appearances have come from the bench.

He has also only just turned 22. He is young, hungry and quality.

A surprisingly competitive replacement for Alexis Sanchez.