Published On: Sat, Jan 6th, 2024
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Anthony Martial to fall one year short of Man Utd testimonial | Football | Sport


Manchester United forward Anthony Martial’s hopes of earning a testimonial match are set to fall just short, should he leave Old Trafford at the end of the season as expected. The Frenchman was just 19 when Louis van Gaal paid AS Monaco an initial £36m to bring him to the Premier League – then a record transfer fee for a teenager. He joined on a four-year contract and immediately endeared himself to the United faithful by scoring a late winner against arch-rivals Liverpool on his debut.

Martial went on to score 17 goals in his first season at Old Trafford and established himself as a full French international. He eventually earned himself a new six-year deal which runs until the end of the season but is no longer the bright young star that supporters were salivating over when he first arrived.

In January 2022 he was loaned to Spanish side Sevilla for the remainder of the season, scoring one goal in 12 appearances.

With United struggling to recreate past glories under current manager Erik ten Hag, Martial could well be one of the players who make way at the end of the season with a clearout of players considered to be deadwood expected to take place.

United have the option to trigger a one-year extension to his contract, but on Thursday Ten Hag told reporters that the club are yet to activate that option, leaving him now free to talk to other clubs.

Should that come to pass and the 28-year-old does move on he will have spent nine years with United, just one short of the 10 required to trigger a testimonial match. However, it is unlikely that too many Old Trafford officials will be losing sleep over the matter, given how much it has cost to keep Martial on the United books over the past nine seasons.

His original four-year contract was worth £22.88m across the term of the deal, according to spotrac. But the six-year contract he then subsequently signed was on significantly better terms, pocketing him £13m a season.

Having also activated various add-ons agreed during negotiations for his transfer from AS Monaco in 2015, it is estimated that in total Martial has cost United around £152m to keep him at the club.

Whether that has represented good value for the Red Devils is up for debate. Martial has made 317 appearances for United in all competitions, scoring 90 goals. He has effectively averaged 10 goals a season across his Premier League tenure – a tally that is not troubling the league’s top goalscorers.

Martial has made 19 appearances across all competitions this season, scoring just twice as Ten Hag’s team toils in eighth position in the Premier League.



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