“Who in the shit is Anthony Martial? Mar-shull? Mar-shall? Mar-tee-all? And why did Manchester United just pay 80,000,000 euros for him?” – People of Earth, today.
It appears that 19-year-old Monaco forward Anthony Martial is on his way to rescue the sinking fortunes of Manchester United for either 50 million or 80 million euros, depending on who you ask and what brand of calculator you use. Really, the final reported number is irrelevant, as published transfer fees are always a lie and Premier League clubs operate under the McDuckian model of economics anyway.
Here are some numerical facts about Martial, because you’re into those:
There you go.
I’ve seen Monaco play soccer a staggering dozen times or so in the past two years, so I feel qualified—or as least as qualified as anyone else you’ll read today—to give you the real on the future savior of Louis Van Gaal’s job.
While the rest of the media is going to bombard you with stats, YouTube clips and canned quotes from badly translated press conferences, I have more respect for your time. I will walk you through the Land of 💯: Instagram. The only place to get a true look at what a player is really all about.
Firstly, it’s necessary to note that Martial signed a contract extension to stay at Monaco through 2019. In June. The June that just happened. Contracts mean nothing when heavy paper and ambition are involved. If anything, without the still-wet ink on this extension, Monaco wouldn’t have gotten the seemingly ludicrous sum for a 19-year-old striker you’ve never seen before.
It’s a win for everyone outside of Manchester. The Red Devils don’t seem to be too clear of how money works (see: Di Maria, Angel; De Gea, David), so there’s no telling if they feel that 50 to 80 million euros for Martial is “a good bit of business,” or if they even give a shit. That pounds-to-euros conversion can be troublesome even for the best of us. Sometimes, it’s easier to just cut the check and worry about details later.
On a personal level, despite his age, Anthony Martial—who was great for me when I added him to the French national team I coached in FIFA 14—is a very serious individual. He played and lived in Monaco, the most opulent of petroleum-free cities, and still posed from his balcony as if all that Mediterranean sunshine was a hassle. Like the sea’s particular shade of blue is too calming, and dulled the edge he needed to try and push Monaco to finish second to Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1.
Martial is also a devoted family man. The Massy, France native is already married with a child. At 19. While playing professional soccer at the highest level. 😂…😌…😐
It’s possible that the grimace in the previous balcony photo came during the exact moment that Martial realized that he’s already locked down before he ever got the chance to experience the full fruits of his labor. Then again, love is great, according to old songs and my parents. If Martial is going to be tasked with dragging Wayne Rooney’s heavy corpse across England for the next few years, he needs to have a laser-like focus, and can’t be out in the streets getting caught up in tabloid gossip. Hashtag #baby.
It should be noted that Martial’s wife Samatha has a private Instagram account, which is a sure sign of a “Not here for the bullshit lifestyle.” The Martials seem to be content with staying on mission.
Here’s Martial being very serious as the centerpiece of what was supposed to be Monaco’s youth movement. Even at a photo shoot to show off the best uniforms in Europe (we will not argue this), he can’t help but to be very serious about his work. The bright pink shoes are probably more for you and your comfort levels than they are for any tactical benefit to Martial. He knows it’s important to at least pretend to be festive and approachable.
In this important casual fashion shot, a stone-faced Anthony Martial and his friend seem to be pointing at each other as if to assign blame for who encouraged whom to buy the clothes they’re wearing. Though he looks incredibly uncomfortable in his presumably $400 sweatshirt, it’s encouraging to see that Martial recognizes the importance of leather sleeves to a young footballer’s future. Leather-accented garments are as important as good rest and hydration to a player’s performance.
Finally, here’s a focused Anthony Martial, probably eyeballing another reporter preparing to call him “the next Thierry Henry,” simply because he’s black and French. That probably gets annoying after a while.
All things considered, this is probably a pretty good deal for Manchester United. Whatever they paid for him probably amounts to to the cost of jet fuel they spent to travel to the first leg of whatever bogus summer friendly tour they went on this year. Now, they get to replace Javier Hernandez with a younger player who brings fewer expectations along with him, unless you like to look at sales receipts.
If anything, we know that Anthony Martial is better than Chicharito, because not once has Chicharito posted a French Montana song to Instagram.