Well, it was pretty anti-climatic for the Premier League and Manchester United supporters, but the Red Devils did manage one big-money signing on deadline day to somewhat raise the hopes around the Theatre of Dreams.
Louis van Gaal has spent a hefty amount of cash since arriving at the club in 2014, but the feeling has been one of happiness around Manchester United due to the calibre of players who have come in.
Angel Di Maria, Memphis Depay, Radamel Falcao, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin – footballers capable of breaking into any team in the world on their day.
Julien Laurens: Man Utd have overspent on “very special” Anthony Martial
Whilst some of those aforementioned names have been shipped off before they could even set up a landline in their new homes, there are some who will be here for years to come – you would think anyway.
One of those names is deadline day acquisition Anthony Martial. Yep, we know what you are thinking – ‘who is he exactly’?
Well that’s a tough one. The 19-year-old is an up-and-coming starlet and whilst you may have heard the comparisons to Thierry Henry umpteen times since United moved in for him over the weekend, we have decided to showcase three ways Van Gaal could line-up his attacking stars with the Massy-born star.
On the right
It has become well-documented that Manchester United spent so big on a player who is not expected to come in and score 30 goals, but more so due to the fact he holds so much potential within him.
Another reason the hefty £36 million (fee via BBC Sport) was splashed out on him is his ability to roam around the final third and he boasts impressive versatility.
Martial is naturally right-footed and down the right-hand side he has the pace and height to get away from virtually any full-back. Whilst Van Gaal is not likely to drop Juan Mata anytime soon, it could prove useful to have a right-sided player down the flank considering the Spaniard’s tendency to constantly drift inwards.
Maruading down the flank will allow Wayne Rooney and even Memphis Depay to burst between the lines and get into the 18-yard box, allowing Martial to put the ball in – 25% of the chances he produced in Ligue 1 last season came down that side.
On the left
Similarly, just as the prior explanation, Martial can also operate down the right-hand side and this system would perhaps suit him more with the Frenchman able to cut in on his favoured right-foot.
The one issue with this system is that Memphis would have trouble getting into the line-up, but with the departure of Adnan Januzaj to Borussia Dortmund this summer, the No.10 role could be vacant for the Dutchman to reoccupy that spot once again – he failed quite miserably against Tottenham Hotspur on the opening day, but things could get better.
Only 8.3% of the chances Martial produced last season in Ligue 1 came down the left-hand side, so it is clear to see his creativity could be limited. However, the France international did score eight of his nine league goals with his right-foot so cutting in would seemingly suit him extremely well.