Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United was a joyous occasion for everyone associated with the club, but the return of the five-time Champions League winner isn’t without its consequences.
The Red Devils snapped up the 36-year-old sensation in a £12.8 million deal from Juventus, bringing hope that they can claim their first Premier League crown since 2013.
However, Dan James has already become the first casualty of Ronaldo’s second skint with United, while Anthony Martial was also reportedly offered the opportunity to follow him out of the exit door.
According to the Daily Express (as relayed by Sky Sports), the France international was offered the opportunity to move back to his homeland via a loan deal with Lyon on Deadline Day but he rejected the offer as he wants to prove his worth at United.
Although Martial’s decision to remain on English shores leaves Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with an abundance of quality attacking options, the 25-year-old’s decision may leave his Norwegian boss feeling gutted.
The pacey attacker struggled to make a significant impact at United last term, scoring seven goals and provided nine assists in 36 games before picking up a season-ending knee injury in March.
It was an extremely disappointing campaign for the former Monaco ace after he appeared to turn a corner in his development throughout 2019/20 when he managed 35 goal contributions in all competitions.
Moving to Lyon on a temporary basis may not have been part of Martial’s or United’s original plans for the summer window, but the shock arrival of Ronaldo arguably meant it was the best option for all parties.
Adding the five-time Ballon d’Or winner to the Old Trafford outfit’s ranks means Mason Greenwood, Edinson Cavani and Ronaldo could all be ahead of Martial in the pecking order for his preferred central striking role, leaving him desperately short of opportunities to get game time.
Therefore, a move to the Groupama Stadium would have allowed the £40.5m-rated gem to showcase his true ability and potential week in week out, proving he can be the long-term solution to the club’s striker woes.
Instead, it appears as though Martial is prepared to spend substantial periods of time occupying the substitutes bench this season, not something that is going to catch Solskjaer’s attention or prove that his future lies in the red half of Manchester.
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