Glazers out? – Takeover talk ramps up at Manchester United
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Ahead of Manchester United’s Europa League clash with Real Sociedad, Anthony Martial has returned to training. The France international has been hampered by injuries this term, preventing him from leading the line on a regular basis in the process. But if he returns with a bang, he can save the Glazers millions on a world-class striker come the end of the season.
There were many positives to take from Manchester United’s pre-season tour of Australia and Thailand, even if the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo threatened to cast a cloud over their preparations for the season.
But Martial was arguably the biggest of them all, with the France international instantly taking to Ten Hag at the tip of the club’s attack.
Unfortunately for United, he’s been restricted to just four appearances in the time since.
Yet, certainly, there’s reasons to be optimistic as the 26-year-old steps up his return from the sidelines. He’s already netted three goals this season, from just 134 minutes of football.
United, right now, need a player to finish the chances they create.
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Marcus Rashford has done well when called upon to play as a striker but there’s a sense he’d be better on the left wing, where he often played under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Jadon Sancho will never be a centre-forward, and hasn’t even been tried there, while the goals have dried up for Ronaldo since his failure to engineer a move.
Martial returning to the fold, however, means United will have a clinical marksman as their talisman soon enough. With the games mounting up, that’s definitely a good thing.
And the Glazers will no doubt watch him with great interest.
Joel Glazer has always liked Martial and, previously, thought the Frenchman could be the club’s very own version of Brazil icon Pele. Make of that what you will.
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He prevented Jose Mourinho from selling the attacker on two occasions, in 2017 and 2018, insisting the Portuguese must learn to get the best from the former Monaco man.
And, now, Martial has an opportunity to save the Americans millions in transfer fees.
At the end of the season, United plan on recruiting a new forward to boost their chances of winning the Premier League, and Champions League, in years to come.
But Martial can decide the club’s strategy if he produces the goods between now and the end of the season.
If he shines, United can go for a cheaper option. Somebody to play second fiddle to him, rather than be the main man.
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Yet if he isn’t able to continue his recent impressive form, then the Glazers will face having to spend a fortune on a Joao Felix or Victor Osimhen instead.
Martial has all the talent needed to become a hit at United, which is exactly why Louis van Gaal sanctioned his arrival all the way back in 2015.
Now, the onus will be on proving his critics wrong – and vindicating Ten Hag’s decision to give him a lifeline.
Speaking back in July, meanwhile, former United star Lee Sharpe expressed a belief Martial can be like a new signing for the club this season.
“I think Martial on his day is unplayable. I think he’s that good,” said the former Red Devils star.
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“That’s what frustrates fans, knowing he’s that good but not doing it week-in, week-out.
“I don’t know the lad personally so I’m unsure whether he is happy playing out wide, or if he prefers playing as a number nine.
“If he wants to be a number nine, and Ten Hag is happy for him to be there, and if Martial puts the work in, then United have a surprise package.
“A £50-60m new player if you like because on his day he’s unbelievable with quick feet. He can score goals and create for others and he’s a fantastic talent.
“If United get the best of Martial then everybody will be happy.”
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