Sam Allardyce has expressed his shock that Manchester United would be willing to offer forward Anthony Martial a new long-term deal at the club.
The Frenchman arrived at Old Trafford for an initial £36m from AS Monaco and scored 17 goals in his first season, the top scorer for Man United in that campaign.
However, his performances in the two seasons since have been often under-par and he’s netted only 19 times in 87 games.
Reports in those last two seasons have frequently suggested a frosty relationship between Martial and United manager Jose Mourinho.
Yet now, reports indicate a possible five-year contract extension for Martial as United look to secure down the youngster’s future.
“I’m very surprised if they have offered him a five-year contract in all honesty,” Sam Allardyce said on talkSPORT.
“The lad is in his fourth season at Manchester United and I don’t think anybody would actually say he has delivered consistently.
“We’ve seen the odd flash of his brilliance, but by now he should be showing that brilliance on a more regular basis.
“He should be hitting top form more often than not.
“He’s had two managers now and both managers have found it difficult to find him a regular place in the Man United side.”
Allardyce’s words have some truth. Martial has not been consistent enough, particularly over the course of a season let alone over the spell of around five games.
However, Louis van Gaal was able to find Martial a ‘regular place’ in the one season the Dutchman and he were at United together.
Mourinho cannot be blamed for all of Martial’s troubles, as his attitude and performances have been off at times. But the United manager has been guilty of not using his fringe players to their full potential.
Martial now counts as a fringe player, and Mourinho must keep his confidence levels so when he does need him, he can rely on Martial.
On the matter of a contract, it makes financial sense for United to extend Martial’s contract so as to get a larger fee. But it may not make sense in terms of motivation for the player.