Manchester United dominated the first half of their pre-season game ahainst Sampdoria on Wednesday, with Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan causing plenty of damage, but things started to go slightly flat in the second period.
Jose Mourinho threw on Anthony Martial, linked with a potential loan move to Inter Milan as part of a deal for Ivan Perisic, with half an hour left and the Italians, despite having just equalised, were immediately on the back foot again.
The Frenchman was simply effervescent, bombing past defenders at will on the left hand side and eventually providing an inch-perfect assist for Juan Mata to grab an 80th minute winner.
Here is a highlight reel of what was a truly outstanding performance from Martial – one that should lead us to ponder whether we actually need Perisic next season.
Inter’s demand for Martial on loan in return for Perisic pre-supposes that the 21-year-old is dispensable, somebody worth letting go if it means Perisic can come the other way, but this entire line of argument grossly ignores the scary potential offered by the Frenchman.
Yes, United do need Perisic – a different, more traditional and direct kind of winger that Mourinho lacked last season, but make no mistake: Martial is not just a prop, and United need him just as much – if not more, when considering the long term – next term.