Anthony Martial - Player Profile

Most Expensive Teenage Signing In World Football

Personal information
Full name: Anthony Martial
Date of birth: 5 December 1995 
Age: 19
Place of birth: Massy, France
Height: 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position: Forward

Club information
Current team: Manchester United
Number: 9

Youth career
2001–2009: CO Les Ulis
2009–2012: Lyon

Senior career
2012–2013 Lyon 3 Appearances, 0 goals
2013–2015 Monaco 49 Appearances, 11 goals 
2015– Manchester United 0 Appearances, 0 goals 

National team
2010–2011 France U16 17 Appearances, 9 goals
2011–2012 France U17 13 Appearances, 9 goals 
2012–2013 France U18 4 Appearances, 3 goals
2013 France U19 5 Appearances, 0 goals
2013– France U21 12 Appearances, 4 goals 

Before the international break, Manchester United completed the £36m signing of Monaco forward Anthony Martial, making him the world's most expensive teenage footballer and the fee could rise to £58m. France Under-21 international Martial, who scored eight goals in 31 Ligue 1 games last season, signed a four-year deal with the option for a fifth year. The 19-year-old, who had been linked with Arsenal, becomes United's third most expensive signing after Angel Di Maria (£59.7m) and Juan Mata (£37.1m). Such a big-money move for a relatively unproven player has naturally attracted scepticism. The reaction is understandable, but with four years left on his current deal and United desperate for another striker, Monaco were always going to drive a hard bargain. Martial has already got off the mark this season with a goal and two assists in all competitions, so United will be hoping he can hit the ground running when the Red Devils lock horns with Liverpool this weekend.  

He was allowed to leave the France squad last Monday for a medical with Louis van Gaal's side, who have given him the number nine shirt. Monaco signed Martial for £4.4m two years ago from Lyon, who will receive about £7.35m as a result of a sell-on clause. Conditions that would increase the fee include Martial winning the Ballon d'Or award or the world's top footballer. The previous world record transfer fee for a teenager was £27m, which United paid for Southampton left-back Luke Shaw last summer and Paris St-Germain spent on Roma centre-back Marquinhos in 2013. His signing came as Premier League spending passed £850m for the first time in a transfer window."I am so excited to be joining Manchester United," said Martial. "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."

A France Under-21 international who has just been called up to the senior national team for the first time. Martial scored 32 goals in 21 games at youth level for Lyon before breaking into the first team in the 2012-13 season, making three appearances and then his debut in the Europa League aged 17 before joining Monaco. In his first season at the club, the youngster featured for just 560 minutes across 11 appearances in Ligue 1 and scored twice, as well as grabbing one assist. Martial enjoyed a more significant run in the team last season and racked up 12 goals and five assists in all competitions. Of players under 21 in Europe’s top 5 league last season, only Domenico Berardi (15) scored more goals than Martial (9). The young Frenchman has been compared to Henry because of his blistering pace and great dribbling skills, which have seen him play on the wings. And he also played for the same French youth side as Henry. If Martial achieves even a 1/10th of what Henry did at Arsenal, he will be deemed a success.  

United boss Louis van Gaal will no doubt demand plenty of application from the youngster on the pitch and in training, so Martial will need to adapt quickly to his new environment and should he not, he could be sent to play with the reserves just like everyone else. However, If United can bed him into the team quickly and if he can handle the inevitable pressure that comes with his price tag, he can become a very useful acquisition for the Red Devils. Further, at such a tender age, he still has his entire career ahead of him, so United could be reaping the rewards of his capture for a long time to come.