Reaction as Anthony Martial loan move to Sevilla agreed, United to net £5m loan fee

Manchester United forward Anthony Martial is set to seal a loan move to Sevilla, according to multiple reports.

Sky Sports claim Sevilla have agreed to pay Martial’s wages, which was the stumbling block to the deal before.

The Guardian report Sevilla are paying a £5 million loan fee to take him for the rest of the season, and he is set to fly to Spain imminently to seal a move.

Rating the deal

From a business perspective, this is about as good an agreement as Manchester United could have managed.

£5 million as a loan fee is really good business, and this could potentially be used to put towards signing a midfielder.

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To have Sevilla covering most of, if not all of Martial’s wages also represents a major win for United, having held out for a deal like this all window long.

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Rating the decision

The decision to loan Martial out is more divisive. First off, it’s important to note this move comes from Martial’s desire to leave

He is desperate to win back his place in France’s World Cup squad after being snubbed by Didier Deschamps last November after a lack of game time. Having missed out on major tournaments including the 2018 World Cup, and then Euro 2020 due to injury Martial does not want to leave anything to chance for 2022.

Martial is a big talent, he scored 23 goals in 2019/20, showing the ability he has. But he can be temperamental too, struggling with the pressure of leading the line the following season and he has scored just eight goals since in one and a half years combined. He has sunk in the face of competition rather than risen to fresh challenges.

Martial fancies himself as a striker, while United see him as more of a left winger. He made an impact coming off the bench against West Ham at the weekend, and this was a tantalising glimpse of what he is capable of when running from deep or out wide.

It’s fair to argue Martial is more fluid running with the ball than either Marcus Rashford or Mason Greenwood, and he has different abilities to both players. We will never know whether Martial was a more suitable partner for Cristiano Ronaldo because he never got the chance to show it this season.

There comes a point where club and player have to accept it is time to stop going round in circles, and Martial and United appear to have reached the point of no return. Anthony Elanga’s rise to the first team means United have a ready-made replacement already, one who has overtaken him in the pecking order.

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

His imminent exit is a shame, because United fans wanted so much more from him. There is a potentially great player in there somewhere, but Martial has not been able to consistent show it from season to season.

It’s not necessarily the end for Martial either. The move to Sevilla is just a loan with no obligation to buy. A decision on his future will lie with his new manager in the summer, whoever replaces Ralf Rangnick. If Saturday does prove to be his last ever game in a United shirt, he will at least have left on a high note.

We will always have that goal against Liverpool, the FA Cup semi-final goal against Everton, his hat-trick against Sheffield United as memories, but these are getting more and more distant. It’s time for Martial to make new memories elsewhere and for United to begin a search for a new number 9.

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