parlour

When Manchester United shelled out an initial fee of £36 million to Monaco for Anthony Martial, eyebrows were certainly raised seen as how he’s the most expensive teenager in world football history.

According to some reports, there are add ons in his contract that could push the eventual fee up to around £60 million with clauses such as scoring a set amount of goals, international appearances for France (who have a fantastic up and coming team) and even winning the Balon D’or. All United fans would agree that if he triggers all the clauses, it will be money well spent.

As is so often the case with these kinds of transfers, the British media were all over it with sensational headlines about “waste of money” and several Sky Sports pundits had their say on the whole thing, with ex Arsenal player Ray Parlour chirping in with this in his “hit and miss” transfer article:

 

“I look forward to seeing him play but I think it’s going to be a miss, because the money they’ve spent is an unbelievable amount. With the money they’ve put out, I could be totally wrong but I’m going to say miss on that one.”

Ray Parlour, 8th September, 2015

 

In fairness to Ray, I shall say that we don’t know what goes on behind the scenes with Sky and it is the job of pundits to say “controversial” things unless of course your name is Phil Thompson and you’re the in house Liverpool fan.

Ray could perhaps have been asked to do a piece on transfer hits and misses from the final days of the transfer window, he couldn’t give a hit to everybody and because he knows nothing about Martial, he just looked at the price and went along with the media concensous that he’s an over-priced miss.

Whatever the circumstances, Ray Parlour is now on record as saying Martial is a miss without even seeing him kick a ball, with the exception of when the just turned 19 Martial tormented Arsenal of course last season and knocked them out of the Champions League.

So far, with 4 goals in 4 games, Parlour is looking a little foolish for writing Martial off based off the price and nothing else. Speaking of the price, Parlour says that Martial is a “miss” because of the “unbelievable amount” that was spent on him and £36 million pounds is a massive amount of money for most people. £36 million would change my life and the life of my family for many generations to come.

But for a global organisation such as Manchester United, £36 million is nothing at all. They are by far the richest football club in England and thanks to the incoming TV deal, return of Champions League football and the new Adidas sponsorship that started this season, they will once again have the highest revenue in world football in 12 months time.

This summer, Manchester United wanted a new striker, they were playing silly beggers chasing Neymar and Muller but I don’t think anylne believed that either were actually going to happen. There wasn’t anyone else around that could come in and make a difference, a genuine world class striker, so they had two options.

  1. Sit on their hands and do nothing, see Arsenal.
  2. Buy someone who can become world class in a few years.

United went with option 2 and so far, it is looking like a good decision. However, the best headline I’ve seen is this one

Martial waste of money

I’m not the only one, a lot of United fans are retweeting this image and if Martial continues his form and fulfils his potential, it wouldn’t surprise me if the image above goes down in United folk law, kind of like Alan Hansen with his “can’t win anything with kids” quote 20 years ago.

United host Sunderland tomorrow and if Van Gaal starts Martial or even brings him off the bench, it wouldn’t surprise me if he scores again, making it 5 goals in 5 games and at the same time, becoming the first United player in the Premier League to score in his first 3 games.