It’s been a strange January transfer window for Manchester United, with the club seemingly concentrating on outgoings rather than incomings.
While supporters will undoubtedly be disappointed that Ralf Rangnick has been unable to strengthen his squad, it’s good to see that players who have been deemed surplus to requirements are being allowed to make an impression elsewhere.
Recent reports of dressing room disharmony threatened to completely derail a campaign that’s already looking like it will fail to produce the goods we’d once hoped, but Rangnick seems to be doing his best to nip the issue in the bud.
United waved goodbye to Anthony Martial this week after the Frenchman expressed his desire to leave Old Trafford.
The 26-year-old has secured a loan move to Sevilla until the end of the season and it feels like the perfect opportunity for him to get back to his best.
Martial’s United career has petered out a little over recent seasons, though at 26 years of age he still has plenty of football left in him and so this move could be the springboard he needs.
His speed, trickery and tenacity will serve him well in the Spanish top flight and Julen Lopetegui could be the perfect manager to help him rediscover his best form.
An experienced manager who’s exceeded expectations at Sevilla, Lopetegui has built a side capable of mixing it with the very best, with the Seville-based side sitting just four points behind leaders Real Madrid in the La Liga title race.
Martial has now joined a team with genuine aspirations of winning the title and he’ll be working under a manager with a great track record for getting the best out of his players.
Martial’s compatriot, Jules Kounde, has developed into one of the best centre-backs in Europe under Lopetegui’s watch and his partnership with Diego Carlos is one of the major reasons Sevilla find themselves in the hunt for the title.
Man City flop Fernando has become one of Sevilla’s standout performers in recent season, while the aging Ivan Rakitic had been written off by many but is still an integral part of the Sevilla side.
Martial, who is currently valued at £29m by Transfermarkt, has the chance to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Fernando and Rakitic by proving his doubters wrong.
Of course, a lot of United supporters don’t think Martial has a future at the club regardless of how well he does in Spain, but that’s why this move is so brilliant.
If the France international shines under Lopetegui and rediscovers his form, United’s next permanent manager may think it’s wise to bring him back into the fold. However, if they decide they don’t want Martial at the club, him performing well for Sevilla will only increase the fee United can command in the summer.
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If Martial’s loan move to Spain doesn’t work out then his stock will likely be at a similar level to what it would have been if United had not loaned him out this month and just offered him a bit-part role in the team – they really have nothing to lose.
It’s a move that is low risk with a potential high reward and if Lopetegui gets Martial firing, United stand to benefit one way or another.
Can Lopetegui get the best out of Martial? Follow our United On My Mind writer omar garrick on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.