Anthony Martial could hardly contain his beaming smile after finding the net for the first time in his new colours for Sevilla. It’s not often that we associate the Frenchman with displaying his happiness on the pitch but he appears to have found his love for the game again away from life at Manchester United.
Martial did not enjoy his football at all in the first half of the season at Old Trafford after reportedly turning down the chance to return to France with Lyon last August.
Instead, he vowed to fight for his place under former boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but opportunities were few and far between following the statement arrivals of Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho in the summer transfer window.
Come mid-December, Martial’s agent Philippe Lamboley had already made it clear his client wanted to leave the club in January, preferably on loan away from the Premier League.
Sevilla then entered the fray and finally landed the France international towards the end of the month after initially struggling to negotiate a split of Martial’s wages.
It wasn’t long ago that Alan Shearer and Gary Lineker were comparing the attacker’s sulky persona to Nicolas Anelka, who was nicknamed Le Sulk.
United defender Eric Bailly recently spoke to his former Espanyol team-mate Joan Jordan – who now plays for Sevilla – telling him to put an arm around Martial.
“Anthony [Martial], I talked to my friend and brother Eric Bailly, before he arrived, and he spoke well to me, that he needed affection and to feel important,” Jordan said.
“Very happy with the two additions [Martial and Tecatito Corona], which give us a leap of quality.”
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