It seems that, at least for now, Anthony Martial’s time at Manchester United is over as he is set to move on loan to Sevilla until the summer.
The MEN Sport understands that United are close to agreeing on a six-month loan deal for Martial, which would see his wages entirely covered by the Spanish side, which was a sticking point during the initial negotiations between the two clubs.
But before he left for Spain, Martial got one more chance to step out at Old Trafford, and his reception in the match against West Ham United showed how much the player split the opinion of the United fanbase after his nearly seven years at the club.
His initial substitution was met with boos, which affected him based on the player’s reaction at the end of the match. United fans were unhappy with him publicly asking to leave the club and missing United’s trip to Aston Villa after a situation that has since been labeled a misunderstanding by interim manager Ralf Rangnick.
In Martial’s mind, this then probably overshadowed the chorus of his famous ‘Tony Martial came from France chant’, which was more in line with how the crowd of Old Trafford reacted to players. It is not often that they air their grievances with managers or players in the terraces, preferring to sing through and hope it improves.
But if you went on social media, you would have seen a whole host of fans questioning the substitute and asking him to leave. This was before the Frenchman played a pivotal part in United’s last-minute winner against West Ham and now looks to be heading to Spain on that high note.
But this is where the divide exists. On one extreme of the debate, he is a tortured genius who United have sabotaged the career of time and time again. On the other, he’s a player who’s never topped his debut goal against Liverpool and has been a hindrance ever since.
The answer probably lies somewhere in the middle and has a more straightforward explanation.
United have had a poor record developing players since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson. It seems Martial is just another victim in this regard, he has had his high points and had his low points throughout his career, but overall it is a case that we should be sad that it is another case of wasted potential rather than there was none there, to begin with.
Under Rangnick, John Murtough and now the oversight of Richard Arnold, there will hopefully be a single vision that carries through. Instead of several conflicting ideas and managerial philosophies, which sees United players unsure of their place and role from one manager to the next.
Just like you, we can’t get enough of Manchester United! That’s why we’ve decided to supplement our expansive United coverage on the Manchester Evening News with a more fan-oriented platform catered specifically to United fans – United On My Mind.
Writers and presenters who share your passion for the red side of Manchester will be producing written, visual and audio content to reflect the mood in the stands as well as the press box.
And if this happens, we might see a United as a whole that the fans can get behind rather than individual players being the solution while other players are the problem.
Though this loan doesn’t signal the end, maybe a successful loan spell with Sevilla can see the forward re-find its form and maybe in the future, we may see Martial step out at Old Trafford again, to a more united response.
Who would you like to see start at left-back for Manchester United? Follow our United On My Mind writer Casey Evans on Twitter and get involved in the discussion in the comment section below.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.