Manchester United have defended the huge fee they paid for Anthony Martial on deadline day.
Martial became the most expensive teenager in world football when he signed for Man United on deadline day for a fee rumoured to be in the region of £36 million.
A source at the club has likened the situation to Cristiano Ronaldo’s move from Sporting Lisbon in 2003. The £36 million paid for Martial is a lot more than what United paid for Ronaldo but at 19, the sell-on value is exceptional given the way the transfer market has exploded in recent years.
The source said: “Barcelona, Paris St Germain, Chelsea and City were all in on pre-contract for Martial next season.
“We paid a premium to get him now. It is similar to what we did with Ronaldo – and that turned out OK.”
Manchester United needed to sign a player that might spark life into their attack this season and for many season to come. Martial will need time to develop into one of the world’s best but United must have a strong belief that he can when you hear Cristiano Ronaldo comparisons.
The versatility of Martial can not be underestimated and he can play across the attacking midfield along with being able to play as a number nine. If Louis van Gaal can settle his formation and get them playing a fluid brand of football, Martial might be able to move around, allowing Wayne Rooney to drop out of the striker position and operate from the attacking midfield spot.