“What a waste of money.”
That’s the headline on the back-page of The Mirror today alongside a splash photograph of Manchester United’s new signing Anthony Martial.
Yes, you’ve read that right. Martial is being labelled as a waste of money by the British press before he has even kicked a ball for Man United. Even by the press’ standards, that’s taking jumping the gun to a whole new level.
It happened to Beckham. It happened to Ronaldo. Both players were ridiculed wherever possible during their United careers but they overcame it. Get used to it Martial, it’s going to happen to you.
David McDonnell’s article says United paid triple what Martial was worth, a stat which ignores the fact the transfer prices are all subjective and depend entirely on whatever both clubs feel he is worth.
If Man United were willing to pay £36m for Martial, that doesn’t make him a waste of money at all based on loose guesses as to his real valuation.
Secondly, United just signed new corporate deals with the likes of Adidas and Chevrolet worth in excess of £1 billion over a period spanning a decade. If that isn’t fair ground to spend significantly then I don’t know what is, but each to their own.
Even with £36m spent on Martial, United are well within their financial limits thanks to the excellent job done off the pitch with corporate deals.
It really is no surprise to see Martial’s name being smeared before he’s had the slightest chance to prove himself but I suppose that’s why Louis van Gaal has such a tumultuous relationship with the press, for reasons like this.
The good thing for Martial is that all of this hot and external pressure won’t change the support he gets from the fans, van Gaal or any of the staff at United.
They will support him through thick and thin, as they have done with so many others, and that should feel Martial will some of the confidence he needs to be a success at Old Trafford.