Why Monaco Agreed To Sell Anthony Martial, But Not Thomas Lemar

Anthony Martial during the press conference.

Reuters / Robert Pratta

AS Monaco are thoroughly enjoying the position they have placed themselves in over the past few seasons. Having secured their return to the top flight of French football, the side was quick to bankroll and sign young and upcoming talent. Perhaps they rightly foresaw the tremendous amount of money that these youngsters would fetch a few seasons down the line.

Already having sold the likes of Mendy, Bakayoko, and Mbappe, with the latter set to complete a move upwards of £166 million to PSG, business is blooming for the side at the end of the summer. However, in spite of the heavy interest from England, Monaco refused to part ways with Thomas Lemar, despite having sold Anthony Martial in a similar fashion back in 2015.

The two Frenchmen are remarkably alike, both being hailed as unsellable by the club owing to their young age and brimming potential. However, in the case of Martial, the deal was readily agreed to for a fee of £73 million including add ons. The same didn’t apply to Lemar, much to the dismay of Arsenal and Liverpool.

The refusal came despite both the clubs offering fees reportedly as high as £90 million for the 21-year old starlet. Having already capitalized on several such bargains, it was astounding as to why the reigning Ligue 1 champions refused to comply.

Thomas Lemar celebrates with his team mate Tiemoue Bakayoko.

REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

But now, the answer has provided by club Vice-President Vadim Vasilyev, who revealed the following to L’Equipe: “In 2015 we had to sell in order to meet FFP conditions, so it was more of an obligation. We are, currently, financially safe and sound.”

Over the choice to not sell Lemar this summer, he had this to say: “You sell when you think it’s the right time. You’ve got to accept the risk (to then sell someone at a lower price the next time around) and it’s by taking risks that we have got here.”

Alas, it would appear that timing was on the side of the Red Devils when they purchased Martial. The starlet has gone on to impress the Old Trafford faithful immensely, and looks to be another club superstar in the making. The same won’t be said of Lemar anytime soon, as the youngster is gearing up with his side to defend their title and pose a renewed threat in the Champions League, akin to last season.

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Written by Naveen Kelvin  

A writer trying to craft the poetry within football. Purpose in life is to Make Good Art.


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