Manchester United have splashed the cash on Deadline Day with the biggest deal on the final day of the most lucrative transfer window in Premier League history.
[ MORE: Latest transfer news ]
The Red Devils signed 19-year-old forward Anthony Martial, as the French international arrived from AS Monaco for $55 million plus plenty of add-ons and becomes the most-expensive teenager in world soccer.
Plenty of eyebrows have been raised about Martial, as he has scored just 15 goals in 71 appearances for Lyon and Monaco during his first three years as a professional.
“I am so excited to be joining Manchester United. I have enjoyed my time at AS Monaco and I would like to thank them and the fans for everything they have done for me,” Martial said. “I have always wanted to play in the Premier League and to join the biggest club in the world is what every young footballer dreams of. I am looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and working with Louis van Gaal who has achieved so much in his career.”
No matter what outsiders say, Louis van Gaal has seen something special in the young Frenchman and his arrival takes United’s summer of spending to just under $200 million with Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin, Memphis Depay, Matteo Darmian and Sergio Romero already arriving at Old Trafford.
[ PL Playback: It’s time to change the rules of the transfer window ]
Here’s what LVG has to say about Martial’s arrival at United.
“Anthony is a naturally talented, young, multi-functional forward with great potential. We have been watching him for a while now and he has developed immensely during his time at AS Monaco,” Martial said. “I am delighted he has joined Manchester United as I believe this is the right club for him to continue his development as a young player. He has all the attributes to become a top football player; however we need to give him time to adjust to his new environment and the rhythm of the Premier League.”
United have scored just three goals in their opening four games, with captain and current center forward Wayne Rooney failing to hit the back of the net.
Now, it seems like United are putting all of their hopes on the shoulders of a relatively unknown French striker who has plenty of promise but has yet to make his debut for the French national team despite being called up by Didier Deschamps for the friendlies with Serbia and Portugal in the coming 10 days.
In the space of a week, Martial has become the most-expensive teenage soccer star on the planet and could well make his debut for the French national team, as many have compared him to another former Monaco striker who joined the PL at a young age: Thierry Henry.
As weeks go, it doesn’t get much better than that for Martial, but after United lost out to Chelsea for Barcelona forward Pedro and plenty of other targets seem to have slipped through the net over the past 12 months since LVG took charge, there is an air of caution rather than optimism among United fans as they way to see whether or not Martial will lay down the law to opposition defenders in the Premier League.