Anthony Martial joined Sevilla for the rest of the season during the January transfer window, with Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick sanctioning the temporary move
Anthony Martial’s beaming smile at his Sevilla unveiling was quite the contrast to the frustrated, often unhappy figure he cut in his final months at Manchester United.
The Frenchman was granted the January exit he so fiercely desired, when Ralf Rangnick allowed him to join the LaLiga giants on loan for the rest of the campaign.
Martial had made it clear to all parties that he wanted an Old Trafford exit, with a hope that his stint in Seville will become permanent in the summer.
Signed for £50million back in 2015, Martial looked destined to be the main man for years to come, but having failed to ever live up to his potential, his place in the pecking order continued to descend.
HAVE YOUR SAY! Were Man Utd right to allow Martial to join Sevilla? Let us know in the comments
By the time his departure was confirmed, the 26-year-old had even fallen behind academy graduate Anthony Elanga when it came to Rangnick selecting his starting line-ups.
And Eric Bailly, another man on the peripheries at United, believes that all Martial needs in order to thrive is to be made to feel important by his new team-mates.
Spanish midfielder Joan Jordan, who played with Bailly at Espanyol, has revealed the message his old colleague sent to the dressing room at the Sanchez Pizjuan after Martial’s move.
“Anthony (Martial), I spoke with my friend and brother Eric Bailly, before he arrived, and he spoke well to me, that he needed affection and to feel important,” Jordan explained to Marca.
Martial is yet to open his account for his new club, with manager Julen Lopetegui telling him he must offer more after a disappointing debut performance.
But the club’s sporting director Monchi has clearly taken Bailly’s advice on board, agreeing with the defender’s sentiments, whilst suggesting he is already looking a much more content individual, less than a month after his arrival.
“In these two weeks he’s been here, what I see is happiness,” Monchi told The Times.
“When a player has the technical, tactical, physical qualities, what you have to do is touch the perfect spot for these qualities to reappear.
“And we think we’re capable of finding this spot. Possibly it could mean more affection, more support, more trust; speaking more to him, for his family to feel settled, for him to feel important. There’s not one model for every player – everyone has their needs.”
Martial is likely to make his European debut for the club on Thursday night as Sevilla take on Dinamo Zagreb in the first round of knockout matches in the Europa League.
The forward has already identified the competition, which they have won six times in 17 years, as a great opportunity to swiftly pick up silverware with his new club.