Wenger has made no secret of his admiration of Anthony Martial who Manchester United signed from Monaco for £58m. Although Wenger was vocal about the transfer fee for an inexperienced teenager, when the Frenchman made the move in 2015, aged nineteen, he instantly identified the youngster as a “huge talent.”
Martial made an immediate impact in his first season for The Red Devils but has since seen the additions of Lukaku and Ibramiovic, stifle his game time. Along with a move to the wing, rumours of a strained relationship with manager Jose Mourinho were further enhanced after losing the number nine shirt to Ibrahimovic at the beginning of last season.
Playing in his third season at Old Trafford, Martial has contributed nine goals and four assists so far but will be mindful of the effect January arrival of Alexis Sanchez will have on his minutes. With marquee signings Lukaku and Sanchez almost certainly occupying two forward positions, Martial may find himself to be the odd one out with academy graduates Lingard and Rashford to also consider.
Only recently an Old Trafford source was telling The Sun that the Manchester United’s Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho is eager to sit down for crunch talks with the French forward, with his contract due to expire next season.
“The boss is ready to sit down with Anthony to put his mind at rest.
“His position is under threat and there are worries from him. He is going to wait and see what happens.
“PSG and Arsenal both want him but Jose still has plenty of faith in his talents and rates him highly.”
Should Martial’s playing time drop substantially, he will no doubt look elsewhere regardless of his employer’s endorsements, with several potential suitors likely to be high alert. Should Mourinho sanction the sale, United will likely look to recoup much of the estimated £40m upfront cost paid to Monaco. PSG have watched the youngster closely since his days in France but recent acquisitions of Neymar and Mbappe would make such a move difficult to pull off in line with FFP regulations.
In Aubameyang and Lacazette, Arsenal have added two strikers boasting a combined fifty-nine goals for their clubs last year but in Giroud, Walcott and Sanchez, have lost sixty-five over the same period. By losing the trio, Wenger is left with two new signings and Danny Welbeck (who will also be out-of-contract next year) as the sole forwards. Welbeck’s pedigree has been questioned and although eighteen-year-old Eddie Nketiah has made a bright start to his Arsenal career, he is still a season or two away from regular first-team action.
Arsenal have a plethora of options going forward but Wenger will no doubt find room for the explosive forward. Having seen Martial slip through his figures to initially sign for the Red Devils, should he become available, Wenger will no doubt be at the front of the queue.