It won’t be Anthony Martial’s fault if he fails at Manchester United

It’s been almost a week since Manchester United paid Monaco a reported amount of £37 million with potential add ons for 19 year old Anthony Martial, the most expensive deal for a teenager. Immediately, this puts a lightning rod of pressure on him from the fans, the media, Manchester United and everyone else within world soccer. While Martial could very well be a success, it’s very likely that he won’t be able to meet many peoples expectations and it won’t even be his fault.

Anyone who is being transferred for the kind of money Martial is going for is going to be put under some pressure, especially when that person is still a teenager. What Martial has going for him is that he doesn’t seem to be a typical, seemingly immature 19 year old. He is a family man, married to his childhood sweetheart and has a baby daughter with a second child on the way. This is great for Martial because, a very understated reason why some transfers don’t work out is because of disruptions and adjustments to the players home and personal life in having to adapt to a different culture after a transfer. This doesn’t seem to be the case here so Martial can focus more on being a better player and that distraction of adjusting to a different culture and language may not be as severe.

Having said that, it still doesn’t relieve all the pressure from Martial. He still has to live up to high expectations. When Manchester United paid £37 million, they, and the fans, want to see results. Oh, and to add to this, Martial is wearing #9 for Manchester United. The team has said, and I believe them to an extent, that he’s a young player and it’ll take time. But I have to imagine that some people will be a little more impatient with Martial’s development due to the cost of the transfer.

The media is also going to have high expectations for Anthony Martial. This is a fascinating story and is worth talking about. This much money for a teenager being paid by arguably one of the most popular teams in the world, of course the media is going to dissect the move, dissect Martial in pieces and break it down like it’s an episode of CSI. And, whether it’s fair or not, the media will be there to document the good and the bad.

Either way, this is a move that I can’t possibly expect to work. This has nothing to do with Anthony Martial or his style of play, but it has to do with the outside pressures that will be put around him. This will be a teenager who has to live up to a £37 million transfer fee, wearing the #9 for Manchester United. That alone would be near impossible for anyone to perform. I’m not saying Anthony Martial will not be a great player. Quite honestly, I think there is a bunch of potential in him and have no doubt he is going to be a great goalscorer for a team who desperately needs a goalscorer. Is he a goalscorer worth £37 million? That’s another story.

About Phillip Bupp

News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing, highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them. Follow me on Twitter @phillipbupp