Connect with us

La Liga

Can Anthony Martial revive his career at Sevilla?

Anthony Martial’s time at Manchester United would receive mixed reviews.

Some would call him a wasted talent – others would say he has been mismanaged. Opinion is heavily divided.

But here are the facts. Martial came to Man Utd from Monaco in 2015 for an initial £36 million. After a stunning debut goal against Liverpool, it was imminently clear just how much potential he had.

Since then, he has been in and out of the team. He has scored 79 goals for the Red Devils, helping them win three major trophies. However, he hasn’t reached the heights expected of him.

This season was a huge one for the Frenchman. Despite netting just seven goals in all competitions last term, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appeared to be keeping faith with him, aware of what he could do when at his best. It was his last chance to make it at Old Trafford.

Then along came Cristiano Ronaldo. It didn’t matter how highly Solskjaer rated Martial – he was never going to put the five-time Ballon d’Or winner on the bench.

Since Ronaldo’s arrival, Martial has made just eight appearances in all competitions, half coming as cameos off the bench. As a result, he became discontent and began to seek a move away in January.

He has now got his transfer, joining Sevilla on a six-month loan deal. Is this the right move for him? Will he get his career back on track in La Liga?

Firstly, it’s important to point out that this is NOT a backwards step. Man Utd may have the more illustrious history, but Sevilla are at least on the same level right now.

The 26-year-old joins a club in a title race. Los Nervionenses are four points behind league leaders Real Madrid and boast the best defensive record in La Liga, having conceded just 16 in 22 outings.

But where they’re lacking is up front. Five teams have netted more than them in the league, and their top scorer is Rafa Mir with six. This is, rather obviously, where they’ll be hoping Martial can make a difference.

Many will question whether a forward with his numbers is the right man to bring to a misfiring frontline. In the last 11 months, the Frenchman has scored just twice in all competitions for club and country. This is a frankly dreadful return.

However, if Julen Lopetegui feels like he can get the best out of him, then it’s a gamble worth taking. His best campaign came in the 2019/20 season when he struck 17 league goals – despite suffering from injuries and not taking penalties.

And it wasn’t just his goal output that impressed. He looked sharp, quick and creative – he held the ball up well, his link-up play was good, and he caused all sorts of problems for defenders.

For the player himself, this move should give him the game time he craves. The former Monaco man has missed out on the last two international tournaments, last featuring for France at a major competition in Euro 2016.

The World Cup is under a year away now, and he’s not going to force himself up the pecking order if he’s sat on the bench at Old Trafford. He needs to play, and he needs to play well.

With no option to buy in the loan agreement, Man Utd will have him back at the end of the season. And, if he returns off the back of a good few months of form, he could work his way back into the starting XI.

Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani are both well into their 30s. The Red Devils will need a better option long-term. Martial could be that man if he rediscovers his best form.

Overall, this is a transfer that could suit all parties. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how he performs in La Liga.

More in La Liga