Anthony Martial has joined Manchester United on a four-year deal, with the option of a fifth.
The Frenchman joins United from AS Monaco, becoming the club’s sixth signing of the summer.
A talented prospect, the 19-year-old will have to overcome the high demands of the Premier League and plying his trade at such a big club.
But he has the confidence and temperament to deal with this pressure, where he will aim to develop his attributes and become a key part of Louis van Gaal’s squad.
The departures of Robin van Persie, Javier Hernandez, Angelo Henriquez, loan move of Adnan Januzaj and the decision to not make Radamel Falcao’s loan move permanent, had left United short of options up front.
Wayne Rooney and James Wilson were United’s only recognised strikers, with Memphis and Marouane Fellaini potential candidates as makeshift forwards.
Many cried out for the signing of a striker, and Martial is certainly a surprise, but sometimes it is the surprises that pay off, with Matteo Darmian an example of a shock arrival that has prospered in his early career at Old Trafford.
The teenager, who left Lyon for Monaco two years ago, will bring plenty of pace and flare to United’s attack, with his versatility allowing him to put himself forward as an option on either flank.
Reports emerged on Sunday evening of a bid for Martial, but such is the craziness of the transfer window, you can never be too sure.
But these reports proved to be correct, with Didier Deschamps granting Martial permission to depart the French National Team’s training camp on Monday morning, in order for him to complete his medical and sign off the relevant paperwork at Carrington.
This first call-up to the national side for Martial highlights how far he has come in such a short space of time, and with the likes of Karim Benzema, Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann already part of the France armoury, Martial is now part of that talented attack.
Sometimes the unknown can surprise the Premier League – just look at Chicharito – but he will need time to settle should things not pan out immediately.
United had been scouting Martial for over a year, and made their move after Monaco’s Champions League play-off defeat to Spanish side Valencia, with former United player and coach Phil Neville, now a coach at Valencia, praising Martial’s performances in both legs.
Competition for his signature also prompted swift action from the club’s hierarchy, with Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur seeing a bid rejected earlier in the summer, with fellow rivals Chelsea and FC Barcelona thought to be in the race for the striker, but for next summer.
This again indicates how highly he is rated within the European game, and Van Gaal has a good track record of developing younger players who go on to have such a bright future in the game.
An international break will delay the debut of Martial, but we look forward to seeing him in the famous Red shirt, and wish him all the best in what will hopefully be a long and successful career at the Theatre of Dreams.