With less than ten days to go for the commencement of the summer transfer window for the PL clubs, the rumour mills are well and truly heating up. It is quite clear that Jose Mourinho wasn’t impressed with Anthony Martial’s performance against Brighton & Hove Albion. However, rumours suggesting that the Frenchman would move away from United aren’t new.
Ever since Mourinho took over as the manager, there have been obvious doubts over the player’s relationship with the manager. Now, the latest reports state that United would agree to sell Martial to Chelsea. However, it would be a player plus cash deal and Jose would give his go-ahead only if Chelsea will let Willian move the other way.
Willian: A Mourinho Favourite
The Brazilian winger has stood out for Chelsea and has even overshadowed Hazard for a good part of the season. His pace and direct dribbling make him a threatening option on the right wing, and he is tremendously effective during counters. It was visible in Chelsea’s only goal in the loss against United in February. From a United corner, Willian broke away and then linked up with Hazard before himself finishing off the move with a thunderous shot.
His work ethic and the tendency to help out defenders sits well with Jose, who demands his wingers to show some good energy on the field. This is the exact reason why he has been frustrated with Martial’s lacklustre attitude on the pitch. Martial, despite his obvious skills on the ball, does little work off the ball and it is the same reason why Sanchez has been preferred ever since he came in.
Martial, on the other hand, is accused of not being pro-active and his failure to take initiative is also criticised. Jose has made Romelu Lukaku revamp his style of play without the ball too. Hence, Martial’s contribution on the field should be expansive and he should look to bolster his armoury in order flourish from now on.
Should this deal take place?
While Willian would primarily solve United’s right-wing problems, Chelsea might not get the best out of Martial unless Eden Hazard is sold. Martial has been playing on the left wing for some time now and is accustomed to cutting in from the flank to create chances.
He can be deployed as a striker too, but Chelsea have recently spent big bucks to lure Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud. Moreover, this would leave their right-wing under-staffed, and hence at some point in time, this would require Martial to play on the right.
Such a scenario will bring the Frenchman back to square one. The sensible thing would be to try and adapt himself to the more detailed aspects of the game; to refine his touch and then to show greater intent and passion so that Alexis Sanchez gets some competition on that left channel.