Aston Villa are on the brink of European football in what has been a complete turnaround of events at Villa Park this season.
The 2022/23 campaign has been one to remember for the Villans, who have thrived since the arrival of Unai Emery, who joined the club in October.
The Spaniard has relished on his Premier League return, with the Midlands club sitting 2nd in the table as of 2023, collecting more points than Arsenal this year, showing their progression ahead of the summer break.
Villa’s rise is projected to go way beyond the 51-year-old’s first season in charge, with Villa Park the centre of transfer speculation with the window fast approaching.
The latest news regarding potential movements this summer links an established Premier League ace with a move to the Midlands.
What’s the latest on Anthony Martial to Aston Villa?
Manchester United forward Anthony Martial could be on the move this summer, with Football Transfers linking the Frenchman with a loan move to Villa Park.
United have been speculated to be eyeing a new striker in the coming window, sparking rumours that the versatile striker could depart Old Trafford.
It’s reported that Villa are “weighing up” the option to bring the 27-year-old to the club on a year-long loan deal with a further option to buy.
What could Anthony Martial bring to Aston Villa?
Things haven’t been ticking for the £250k-per-week Frenchman in Manchester over the past few seasons, seeing him fall out of favour coinciding with the club’s change in managers that have trialled their favoured squads.
While the 27-year-old is used primarily as a centre-forward when called upon in Erik ten Hag’s system, the forward has previously been effective from the wing, an area that Martial has named as his favoured position.
The Massy-born ace told Sky Sports in 2016 – as relayed by Football365 – that he loves “playing wide”, which could be an interesting prospect when it comes to his link to Villa.
Rene Meulensteen, former United first-team coach to manager Alex Ferguson, told Stadium Astro (via GOAL) that he believes the Frenchman’s best position is on the “left-hand side coming in”.
Emery, who explained his wishes to sign a “specialist winger” in January, could utilise the United players’ strengths to replenish his form on the flanks, in a role that could potentially force Leon Bailey out of the squad.
Despite making just ten starts in comparison to the Jamiacan’s 25 this season, Martial has outscored the Villa winger in what has been an inconsistent campaign for the £85k-per-week player.
Away from goal-scoring attributes, Martial offers more in providing for his teammates, as shown through his 0.26 assists compared to Bailey’s 0.19 per 90. His passing strengths excel those of the winger, making 2.97 progressive passes in comparison to the 25-year-old’s 1.28 per 90 – as per FBref.
Bailey has had spells of brilliance this season, however adding a “world-class” player, as lauded by Robin van Persie, to the squad to challenge his position could be influential to his consistency.
Emery could have two players in his arsenal that are hungry to prove their worth through consistency, with Martial being a player that has been starved of game-time as of late and desperate to replenish his stay in England.
A loan deal could be suited to both club and player as a trial, with the United ace able to bring valued experience to the Spaniard’s budding squad and potential competition for Villa’s forwards.