One goal, fitness issues, European failure and a collapsing title tilt… Anthony Martial’s loan spell at Sevilla came to nothing and it’s hard to see why Erik ten Hag would keep him at Man United
- Undesirable at Old Trafford, Anthony Martial was loaned to Sevilla in January
- But the French striker’s stay in Spain was extremely disappointing
- He scored just one goal, registered one assist and completed 90 minutes once
- Fitness issues cost him dearly as Sevilla’s season ended disappointingly
“We know him and we are delighted with him. He can give us things that other players can’t,” said Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui. sports mail in a February interview shortly after Anthony Martial signed on loan.
The excitement died down with Sevilla’s season.
He was brought in to give the team another kit as they strived to reach and win the Europa League final at their own stadium, and complete their title challenge in the final weeks of the season.
Anthony Martial’s loan spell at Sevilla last season was disappointing after initial excitement
The French striker scored only one goal, against Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League
Martial is set to return to Old Trafford but will new United manager Erik ten Hag want him?
But he only played one minute 90, scored one goal and managed one assist.
When Martial arrived, Sevilla were second in the table six points behind Real Madrid, with the eventual champions still to be played. At the end of the season, they were fourth, 16 points behind.
It wasn’t all his fault of course. But he had been brought in to make sure there was no end-of-season slump and he was never fit enough to do that job.
The night they finally gave up hope of winning the league in a 3-2 home loss to Real Madrid summed up Martial’s time at the club. He had done well in a thrilling first half in which Sevilla took a 2-0 lead.
But he hobbled with hamstring problems in the 41st minute and Real Madrid scored three times after the break to win the game 3-2.
United loaned out Martial after he went surplus at Old Trafford in January
There was a lot of optimism when he was unveiled as a Sevilla player at the end of January
In Europe, it was a similar story. When he arrived, Sevilla were just beginning their Europa League adventure, having been knocked out of the Champions League, and Martial scored against Dynamo Zagreb in the play-off which set up a last-16 encounter with West Ham.
But he only played 15 minutes from the bench in the first leg and was on the losing side in the second leg as Sevilla were out.
In total, it was one goal and one assist in 673 minutes of football. His mission was to revive his own fortunes and give Sevilla some of the push they lacked, but there was failure on both fronts – they wanted a player who would be direct and dynamic, but all attempts were blocked.
“It’s always difficult for players arriving in the winter window,” said Julen Lopetegui before the end of the campaign.
West Ham have ended Sevilla’s hopes of winning another Europa League title in the Round of 16
Martial suffered a hamstring injury as Sevilla lost 3-2 to Real Madrid in league clash
“We want to help him reach his best level because we need him. But obviously he also has to adapt to the team.
He was able to speak to Martial in English as the player didn’t speak Spanish. And he didn’t need to be won over by the quality of the French international. There was never any question of the coach not believing the player.
“He is technically and physically good, he is powerful and versatile,” he enthused on the arrival of Martial.
“He can play on the left where he has played several times for Manchester United. He can play as a centre-forward. He will adapt according to what we ask of him.
“He can give us that touch of quality at the end of a move. He can also make us a bit more vertical in wide areas.
Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui has defended Martial’s performance after his loan failed
There’s always a feeling in Sevilla that Martial and Sevilla could have been the perfect combination. And when Sevilla chief executive Jose Maria Cruz spoke recently, he didn’t seem to rule out Martial’s return next summer.
He said the player loved the club and the city and defended it saying: “Just when he started getting used to the coaching system, he started getting injured.” He didn’t have the series of games he wanted.
But unless Martial is offered on loan again with no loan fee and more than half of his £240,000-a-week salary paid, it’s not going to happen.
Sevilla’s financial situation is such that they recently had to sell one of their best defenders to Aston Villa. Diego Carlos’ partner Jules Kounde is also expected to leave this summer.
Martial simply hasn’t kept the promise he made in his first season at Man United
They are a Champions League side but cannot prevent raids from mid-table English sides. There’s no money to bet a place in the team on a player who – albeit through injury – has never been up to snuff.
And while the club’s sporting director, Monchi, feels it’s a bet worth taking, it would be hard to sell it to fans who have remained indifferent to what they saw on the day. last season.
He won big money and offered nothing, was one fan’s verdict on the deal that excited Lopetegui but ultimately never left first gear.