Sevilla declare Martial law in bid to win LaLiga title

They were the first to express interest and while patience was required to seal the deal, along with no small amount of haggling, Sevilla have finally landed their primary target of the January transfer window. Anthony Martial has joined the Spanish club on loan until the end of the 2021-22 season.

Manchester United was believed to have been holding out for a loan fee, although when apparent interest from other clubs failed to solidify, the Old Trafford hierarchy apparently became increasingly willing to reduce their demands. Sevilla was undoubtedly delighted to have strengthened their attacking options, when they officially confirmed a deal had been struck for the Frenchman on 25 January.

Sevilla will pay the wages of Martial in full for the duration of his loan spell, without the added cost of any additional fees, although they were unable to secure any clause option to make the move permanent. Nevertheless, there is the realistic possibility of a permanent bid being made in the coming summer, should this loan move work out well for both the player and his new club.

 

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Martial became the most expensive teenage player in world football, when he originally joined Manchester United in September 2015. The Red Devils paid an initial fee of £36 million and bonus clauses took the deal up to £58.8 million in total. Under fire at the time, then manager Louis van Gaal described the transfer fee as being a “ridiculous” amount of money, complaining of United being routinely quoted “£10m more” than other interested clubs.

Nevertheless, despite the Dutchman also considering Martial as one for the future, he debuted from the bench on 12 September, scoring the third goal of a 3-1 win against Liverpool. This excellent form continued and by the end of the season, Martial was United’s top scorer in all competitions, netting 17 goals in 49 appearances.

By the time Jose Mourinho as head coach at Manchester United, the future of Martial at Old Trafford began to be questioned, especially following the arrival of Alexis Sanchez in January 2018. Despite the lack of prominence in the first team, once Mourinho was fired and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took the wheel, Martial began to get more games, and at the end of the 2019-20 season, registered his best campaign with 23 goals in 48 appearances.

Injuries and inconsistent form were the hallmark of a mixed 2020-21 season for Martial, scoring just 7 goals in 36 appearances in all competitions, albeit while contributing 10 assists. Unfortunately for Martial, he had fallen further down the pecking order heading into the 2021-22 season, following the arrivals of Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo. Limited to just 11 appearances and 1 goal, the French forward soon expressed his desire to leave United.

 

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Few can doubt what Martial is capable of producing, while the 26-year-old will be hoping that his time at Sevilla will be the platform to relaunch his career. Despite the many ups and downs experienced at Manchester United, he always remained in the frame for the French national team, making 30 appearances for his country since 2015. The switch to Spain might do wonders for his confidence and his long-term prospects.

Sevilla hopes that signing Martial will boost their chances of winning LaLiga, as they aim to close the narrow gap on Real Madrid at the top of the table. Amongst the best football betting sites reviewed and rated by SBO, the odds of a successful title bid have begun to shorten, which means that comparing the best value odds will certainly be worthwhile. Some reputable bookmakers are even boosting the odds for Sevilla, via potentially lucrative football offers.

Interestingly, the announcement of Martial’s arrival came on the day that Sevilla was celebrating the club’s 132nd anniversary, enthusing fans with a deal that suggests they are serious about winning LaLiga. Incredibly, despite winning the Europa League six times since 2006, Sevilla has only won the Spanish league title once and that was way back in the 1945-46 season. Perhaps the capture of Martial will help them to make history again.

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