Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has admitted that the money Manchester United were willing to spend on Anthony Martial means he “must have potential”.
Martial signed for Man United for a reported fee of £36m, although add-ons could potentially make the transfer worth a lot more.
Carragher gave his views on what has proved to be a controversial transfer, given the money involved in the deal.
“It was a signing out of the blue really. United missed out on Pedro and Martial is not a household name in this country; he was an up-and-coming player in France. He played against Arsenal last season in the Champions League but it’s certainly not a name that resonates in the Premier League, so it was a big shock,” Carragher said.
Despite being somewhat of an unknown quantity, Martial left his mark in the Champions League last season with a brilliant performance against Arsenal. His old club, Monaco, went on to beat the Gunners 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium and the 19-year-old was instrumental in that victory.
Carragher added: “The price that was paid obviously raised eyebrows but, like with any transfer fee, if any player succeeds and does well he is worth it. The add-ons could take the deal to £50m-£60m, which is a lot of money for a young player.
“For the price to be that high, it shows that there must be something there, that Manchester United, Louis van Gaal and Ed Woodward think it is worth paying. It is certainly a gamble, but he must have great potential.”
There has been a lot of negative publicity over Martial’s move to United, with many in the media already claiming that he is a ‘waste of money’ and that van Gaal has overspent. Therefore, it is refreshing to see Carragher reserve his judgement before learning more about the youngster.
Instead, the former Liverpool man has chosen to look at the fact there is definitely a reason United agreed to pay so much for a 19-year-old. Carragher will be hoping Martial’s United career does not get off to a good start, with United welcoming Liverpool to Old Trafford on Saturday.