Why a swap between Anthony Martial and Willian works wonders for both parties
There are roughly two months before the transfer window opens in Europe. Although the season hasn't ended yet, it's never too early to speculate which players Manchester United might target during the upcoming transfer window. Jose Mourinho’s men need reinforcements in the worst way possible if they want to contend with Manchester City and Liverpool for the Premier League title in the 2018-19 campaign.
Chelsea winger and Brazil international Willian has been mentioned as a potential signing. It's no secret that Mourinho loves his playing style and that he would certainly be open to a reunion with his former Chelsea star.
But negotiations could certainly get tricky. Chelsea have rejected United’s approaches time and time again. However, there could be a way for both teams to reach an agreement; include Anthony Martial in any potential deal.
It makes a lot of sense for both parties, honestly. Martial has grown increasingly frustrated with his role at Manchester United and everybody knows he wants to leave the team before it’s too late for his faltering career. Who could blame him? The Frenchman has not been able to settle as a starter. He's now 22, perhaps a move elsewhere would see him garner the regular playing time that his talents deserve. Just look at Wilfried Zaha’s career since he left Old Trafford...
On the other hand, Mourinho knows what Willian, a far more experienced, in-his-prime player can do. Recently, the right-winger has settled as an elite, game-changing winger, up there with the best in the country. You could say that Willian’s best moments with Chelsea came under Mourinho’s management. No doubt they would work great together again. Can you imagine United’s attacking line with Willian and Alexis Sanchez on the flanks with Romelu Lukaku in the middle? That would be impossible to contain for almost any team in world football.
Plus, if we direct our focus solely at United, they'd be parting with a player who's currently unhappy. You also have to consider the fact that Martial’s value will certainly not be any higher, particularly if he remains a substitute. Despite the fact he has been confined to a secondary role with the club, the attacker has still has registered 12 goals and seven assists in 48 appearances across all competitions. That’s a decent return for a 22-year-old player, but…
…the 29-year-old Willian has 11 goals and eight assists across 46 appearances (19 Premier League starts) during the current term. Numbers-wise, both are extremely similar and although Willian has one more league start. The edge in appearances goes to Martial. In a way, we could say that Willian has been more productive in fewer minutes, but the margin is too close to use that argument as a difference-maker.
Recent reports have indicated that United would be happy to send Martial to Chelsea only if The Blues offer both Willian along with a £80million cash-sum. While everything will depend on the team’s focus going forward, United need to make some decisions – and adding Willian at that price could end up being quite a bargain. Plus, the extra money could give them the opportunity to sign another quality footballer; perhaps to strengthen the midfield?
If we look at Chelsea, then Martial could be the team’s biggest star in the (likely) rebuilding process under a new manager next season. At least on paper, it seems the potential move would benefit both parties.
Now we sit and wait to see whether either club pulls the trigger on this one...