Sevilla is set to bring in Anthony Martial despite the loan offer, that had earlier been rejected but the 26-year old forward has asked to leave the club this month as he searches for more game time. Martial played a key role in the Red Devil’s late winner against West Ham at Old Trafford on Saturday. The 26-year-old will now join the La Liga side that will have to pay his wages in full until the season ends. He will fly from Paris, where he is currently located, to Sevilla on Tuesday to undergo medical.
The forward was yearning to join Sevilla this month, despite interest from Juventus and Barcelona, because he believes that is where he will play the most. He became the world’s most expensive teenager when he joined United from Monaco in 2015 and went on to score 79 goals with 269 appearances for United. However, then fell out of favour in the forward positions after Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo was brought in along with Jadon Sancho in the summer, as well as the emergence of Mason Greenwood.
On 1 September 2015, the 26-year old forward completed a move to Manchester United for £36 million, potentially rising to £58 million, on a four-year contract with the option of another year. This was the highest transfer fee paid for a teenager, breaking the previous record of £27 million United paid for Luke Shaw a year before, and that Paris Saint-Germain had paid for Marquinhos in 2013.
United paid £36 million upfront for Martial, but his contract contains three bonus clauses worth £7.2 million each, taking the potential fee to £57.6 million. The clauses each relate to certain accomplishments being achieved in the next four years, including if Martial scores 25 goals during that span, racks up 25 caps for France or wins the Ballon d’Or before June 2019. Manager Louis van Gaal called Martial an acquisition for United’s future rather than for immediate use, and called the transfer fee “ridiculous”, alleging that Manchester United regularly had to pay £10 million more than other teams.
The forward made his debut in the North-West Derby at Old Trafford on 12 September as a 65th-minute substitute for Juan Mata and scored the final goal of a 3–1 win over Liverpool. Van Gaal called it a “marvellous goal”. Eight days later, in his first Premier League start, he scored twice in an away win, 3–2 at Southampton. On 23 September, again as a replacement for Mata, Martial scored his fourth goal in four games for his new club, concluding a 3–0 win over Ipswich Town in the third round of the League Cup.
Martial’s early impact was praised by former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who stated that “he can do anything Martial won his first individual honour at United as he picked up the ‘PFA Fan’s Player of the Month. He was also named Premier League Player of the Month for September, the third-youngest player to receive the award after Micah Richards and Michael Owen. On 21 October, in a Champions League group stage match away to CSKA Moscow, Martial gave away a penalty which David de Gea saved from Roman Eremenko and later equalised to confirm a 1–1 draw.
He was awarded the Golden Boy as Europe’s best under-21 player on 19 December. The 26-year old was key in a 2–1 win against Everton in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium on 23 April 2016: he assisted the first goal by Marouane Fellaini and scored an added-time winner. He finished the season as the club’s top scorer in both the league and overall competitions with 11 goals and 17 goals respectively. Martial retained his starting berth at Manchester United under new manager José Mourinho, starting ahead of in-form teammate Marcus Rashford on the left-wing for the opening few games of the season.
He, however, lost his place in the starting line-up after several underwhelming performances, with the club tentatively attributing Martial’s difficulties to ongoing problems in his personal life. Nevertheless, on 2 October 2016, Martial came off the bench at Old Trafford to score United’s only goal—his first of the new season—against Stoke City, a game that ended in a 1–1 draw. On 30 November 2016, he was recalled to the side to face West Ham in the EFL Cup after receiving warnings about his starting spot in previous weeks from manager José Mourinho, he responded by scoring two goals in a 4–1 win to send United into the semi-final of the competition.
Being in and out of the team for a couple of months, he was rumoured to leave Manchester United in the summer, but on 6 February he made it clear on his official Twitter account, tweeting: “the papers are wrong don’t listen to them. Martial returned to the starting line-up against Watford at Old Trafford on 11 February by providing an assist to Juan Mata and later scoring a goal for himself in the 60th minute, he was later declared the man of the match. On 26 February, he was named in the starting XI that faced Southampton at Wembley Stadium for the 2017 EFL Cup Final, which United won 3–2.
The victory earned Martial his third piece of silverware for United. In May, he won the first European trophy of his career, coming on as a substitute in the 2017 UEFA Europa League Final. After a successful spell for Manchester United towards the end of last season, winning the League Cup and Europa League, Martial started the season as a substitute for most matches. Despite this he managed to score from the bench in United’s first two league matches against West Ham United and Swansea City, and again later against Everton; with all three matches ending in a 4–0 win for United.
His first start of the season came on 20 September in a 4–1 win over Burton upon Trent in the League Cup in which he also scored. Martial repeated this a week later in the Champions League, scoring in a 4–1 win over CSKA Moscow. In October Martial scored United’s only goal in their win over Tottenham and again in November against Watford and Newcastle United. In January, Martial scored again against Everton away, scored against Stoke City and provides the winning goal against Burnley. However, following the January transfer season, he began to fall out of favour following the signing of Chilean forward Alexis Sánchez on 22 January.
A lack of game time saw Martial fail to produce another goal for the club all season. Because of this, there was heavy speculation that Martial would leave Manchester United during the summer transfer season. He made his first competitive appearance for Manchester United’s 2018–19 seasons in their 3–2 loss to Brighton in the Premier League. Through August and September, Martial made three other substitute appearances in the Premier League until September’s final game against West Ham United saw him make the starting eleven.
However, two weeks prior saw Martial start in Manchester United’s Champions League opener and score his first goal of the season in a 3–0 win against Young Boys of Bern. His first league goal came in a 3–2 comeback against Newcastle United where he also started. After that match Martial started and scored in every Premier League game up to the November International Break, scoring against Bournemouth, Everton, two goals against Chelsea, and a penalty goal in the Manchester derby.
The spell of goal scoring saw him become one of seven players to have scored in five consecutive league games for Manchester United. Martial also won Manchester United’s October Player of the Month award. On 24 November, Martial started in United’s goalless draw with Crystal Palace, playing the full 90 minutes. It came after speculation that he would miss the game due to an injury picked up on international duty. The forward also played the full 90 minutes against Champions League opponents Young Boys, which United won 1–0, securing their place in the knockout stage.
After missing United’s tie with Southampton, Martial played in the club’s home game against Arsenal in which he scored his eighth goal of the season with the match ending in a 2–2 draw. On 17 December 2018, United triggered an option to extend his contract that would keep him at the club until 2020. On 22 December, under new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Martial scored his ninth of the season in a 5–1 victory over Cardiff City. On 25 January 2019, he scored Manchester United’s third goal in a 3–1 win over Arsenal in the FA Cup Fourth Round; it was his first goal of 2019 and his 10th of the season. On 31 January 2019, Martial signed a new five-year contract with Manchester United.
On 9 February, Martial assisted Paul Pogba’s opener before scoring United’s second goal in a 3–0 win over Fulham. On 10 March, Martial returned as a substitute against Arsenal after sustaining an injury against PSG a month prior. Later that month he scored the second goal in a 2–1 win over Watford. Martial began the 2019–20 league seasons by starting and scoring Manchester United’s second goal in a 4–0 victory over Chelsea at Old Trafford. He also scored in United’s second match, a 1–1 draw away against Wolverhampton Wanderers on 19 August 2019.
On his first start since returning from injury in August, Martial scored the winning penalty against Partizan Belgrade in late October, before scoring against Norwich City in a 3–1 victory the following weekend. On 24 June 2020, he scored his first senior hat-trick in a 3–0 home win against Sheffield United. This was United’s first Premier League hat-trick since 22 April 2013, when Robin van Persie did so against Aston Villa en route of sealing the club’s most recent league title to date. On 4 October 2020, Martial received the first red card of his career for hitting out at Erik Lamela during United’s 1–6 loss to Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League and was later banned for three domestic games.
In the UEFA Champions League group stage match against RB Leipzig on 28 October, Martial scored his first goal of the season, slotting home United’s fourth goal in a 5–0 win. He scored his first league goal of the season on 17 December 2020 in a 3–2 away win against Sheffield United. He scored two goals – the only one to do so – in United’s Premier League record-equaling 9–0 home wins against Southampton on 2 February 2021. Martial scored his first goal of the season On 2 October in a 1–1 draw against Everton.