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Anthony Martial has been an unexpected victim of Jose Mourinho’s reign at Manchester United but the Frenchman may finally be emerging from his spell of poor form.
One of the stars under Louis van Gaal last term, Martial surprisingly found himself out of Mourinho’s starting line-up after failing to impress in his first few weeks of management.
His poor start to the new campaign followed an equally disappointing Euro 2016 with France, leaving fans wondering where the player who scored the winning goal in the FA Cup final against Crystal Palace had gone.
According to the Guardian, the former AS Monaco man has been struggling to deal with events in his personal life with Mourinho adamant that a messy divorce with his wife is the reason for his bad form.
He was with Samantha Jacqueline for three years but their relationship failed to recover following allegations that he had been unfaithful to her. They split between April but it left a lasting effect on the winger.
The mountain of off-field distractions became too much for a man who, on a personal level, is still finding his way in Manchester.
The 20-year-old, however, appears to be breaking free from the gloom with Mourinho apparently convinced that he is about to re-establish himself as one of Europe’s best young players.
That much was evident during United’s 1-1 draw with Stoke City last Sunday with Martial coming off of the bench to score the opening goal. Defensive errors would see the game end in a draw but Martial’s performance was highlighted by Mourinho after the match.
“He needs that,” said the Portuguese when asked about the strike. “Amazing goal, and very good initiative for his confidence, from his personal point of view.”
The goal against Mark Hughes’ side was his 17th in 57 games for the Red Devils and a return to form could see Manchester United writing a rather large cheque in the near future.
Manchester United agreed to pay an initial £36m to sign Martial from Monaco in 2015 but the fee will rise to £58m if certain criteria are met. One such clause states that United must pay €10m when he scores his 25th goal for the club.
With the pound sterling currently low after the Brexit vote in June, a flurry of goals will see United paying £8.8m to their French counterparts. But, of course, if it means getting themselves back into the Premier League title race, it will be a cost the Glazer family are happy to pay.