Anthony Martial is set to return to Manchester United after a miserable loan spell with La Liga outfit Sevilla that promised so much but ended up leaving plenty to be desired.
The France international was greeted in Spain with a hero’s welcome and even received a video message from Brazilian icon Ronaldo wishing him well before plying his trade for Julen Lopetegui’s side. Nine La Liga matches and zero goals later, Martial is gearing up for a return to Manchester with his tail tucked firmly between his legs.
Many expected the stint at Sevilla to kickstart a new chapter in Martial’s career and he could realistically make the move a permanent one and revive his reputation out in Spain – instead, it comes away with more damage than beforehand.
The return to the Red Devils has already been confirmed by Sevilla’s club president Jose Castro, who revealed: “Anthony Martial will return to Man United. We spent important money on him but it didn’t work – also, he had injuries and we’re not going to buy him on a permanent deal.”
As mentioned, Martial failed to shake off persistent injury struggles that certainly hampered any chance he had of succeeding in Spain. The forward’s only goal in a Sevilla shirt came in the Europa League during a 3-1 home win over Dinamo Zagreb at the round of 32 stage.
His return for United prior to the loan switch in January was hardly much better, with Martial bagging a solitary strike in a dismal 1-1 draw against Everton during the tail-end of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s ill-fated reign.
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Though this season has been an entirely forgettable one for Martial, the wider landscape isn’t much better viewing. Across his United career, the Frenchman has flattered to deceive, fleeting moments of brilliance are almost never capitalised on and used as momentum to improve.
As a result, Martial has fallen spectacularly short of the praise given to him by United legend and fellow countryman Eric Cantona in the immediate aftermath of his switch to Old Trafford. Speaking a month after Martial became a Red Devil, Cantona claimed: “Martial is France’s biggest talent, in three years he’ll be worth €100m. Hopefully, he scores many goals for United.”
Instead, he is seven years down the line and failing to reach even five goals in a season for either United or the club United were willing to let him leave on loan to.
The one factor Martial can latch on to is the fact he is still only 26, meaning there is still time for him to turn things around – though the chances of that occurring at Old Trafford appear slim.