Anthony Martial is yet to extend his contract at Manchester United. The club is eager to grant him a longer stay, but lack of playing time has reportedly frustrated the starlet to great measure.
To add to his decision is the fact that clubs like Tottenham, Bayern Munich and Juventus have been linked with him, and his age and antics will ensure that numerous other clubs may fight for his signature still.
However, there are a host of reasons why staying on at Old Trafford will prove to be the better choice for the Frenchman in the long term, and here are 5 of them:
1. Fan Favorite
Right from the start, Martial has managed to hit a vibe with supporters that few others have done, and with great success. It comes as no surprise that the starlet has such a following, as his antics on the field have provided some of United’s most picturesque moments.
And while his selection dilemma may not always make it seem so, prior to the arrival of Sanchez and Lukaku, the player has been at the heart of some key goals that defined the few successes of the pre-Mourinho era.
If he elects to leave, he will be giving up what is arguably the most passionate lot of supporters he can garner over the course of his career.
2. Mourinho Promises Central Role
It would appear that Jose Mourinho is not all too eager to part ways with the Frenchman either. In fact, there may be radical steps he is willing to take to ensure that Martial will, in fact, seek a reason to stay on.
Chief among these, as per RMC, is that the manager will offer him a more central role should he continue to be a part of the franchise next season. This could be a very tempting offer for the 22-year-old, as it would give him assurance of more playing time.
Mourinho’s decision to consider this option is reportedly due to the lack of development that Martial and Rashford have shown on flank duty. What will happen to his famous cuts into the box then?
3. Follow Ronaldo
Another youngster who had similar days at United was a certain player by the name of Cristiano Ronaldo. The superstar, in his third season at Old Trafford, scored 9 goals in 24 league starts. In his third, Martial has also scored 9 goals with only 17 games to start from.
Now a career like Ronaldo’s is no simple feat to ape, but there is still an argument to make that if he stays on and gathers his footings, he could potentially do great things with the club before moving out later on in his calling, perhaps even with a Ballon d’Or to his name. Perseverance is key.
4. Outstay Alexis Sanchez
The main thorn that ousted Martial from regular playing time is the arrival of Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean functions from the left, which is the Frenchman’s preferred spot, and the drought from starts is there for all to see.
However, it is interesting to note that while Sanchez is 29, Martial is still only 22 and yet to achieve his prime. As of such, he can clearly outstay Sanchez at Old Trafford and do greater things at the side, akin to how Scholes and Ryan Giggs ruled the pitch during their days.
Besides, Mourinho is a smart manager, and may even mimic what was done to Sanchez during his stint at Barcelona, wherein he was deployed from the right side instead.
There is great truth to this virtue and it is evident more in sports than anywhere else. Martial is merely 22 years of age, and it is only the hype that the transfer of young players create that is making his decision seemingly hard.
It will serve his best interest to capitalize on United wanting him to stay for the long term, which is not assured at other clubs. The kind of nurturing he receives at Old Trafford, surrounded by world-class talent and counting and under the tutelage of someone like Mourinho is almost scheduled to succeed.
By fighting for his place as he has in the past, he can discover those facets that can truly make him a world-class talent, and the rapport he has with the Mancunian club will best serve to continue this forward.
Will reason and determination be heeded by Martial, or will the prospect of a big move and possible first-team football govern his choice instead?