Man United boss Louis Van Gaal has placed a lot of faith in youngster Anthony Martial, but will it turn out to be a success or backfire on him?
As reported by ESPN, the young Frenchman could end up costing United up to £57.6m, although it is widely acknowledged that the initial outlay to Monaco was only £36m.
Given that he only made just over 50 first-team appearances for the Ligue 1 side, that is a significant fee for a teenager that still has plenty to prove.
Lazy comparisons have already suggested that he is the ‘next Thierry Henry’, but in truth, many haven’t seen enough for him to even come close to deserving that title.
Admittedly, Martial looks like a real talent. The 19-year-old was unable to help his former club qualify for the Champions League as they lost out to Valencia last month. However, he showed enough threat and maturity to suggest that he will become a huge hit at Old Trafford in the years to come.
Further, United needed to sign a young player with the ability to become a future star, as Wayne Rooney is essentially all they have currently.
While the move would appear to make sense in some aspects, even though the fee still takes much more work in being justified, Van Gaal has put himself in a tough position.
Having sold Javier Hernandez and Robin Van Persie, allowed Adnan Januzaj to join Dortmund on loan and not chosen to keep Radamel Falcao, the Dutchman is placing all his money on Rooney and Martial to make the difference this year.
If it works out, he’ll be heralded as a genius that has put together a new core to the United squad that will lead the club forward in the future.
In contrast, if it fails, then he will have put the club in a dangerous position in which they may not even qualify for the Champions League this year and will risk falling further behind their rivals.
Van Gaal has previously intimated that he will walk away from Old Trafford after next season, so essentially he sees this as a relatively short-term project for him personally before putting the pieces in place for the club to prosper after he’s gone.
In terms of what he will be remembered for though, it comes down his expensive gamble and if it fails, he will have plenty of questions to answer at the end of the season.