COMMENT By Matt Farr
Manchester United forward Anthony Martial faces what could be his last chance to impress manager Jose Mourinho when they take on Wigan in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday.
The 21-year-old France international has fallen out of favour since the former Chelsea boss replaced Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford in the summer, and his days in a United shirt appear to be numbered.
Martial has scored six goals from 21 appearances in all competitions this term, but was dropped from the matchday squad for United’s last Premier League clash with Stoke.
With his Manchester United career on the brink, Tottenham must consider a move for him before the transfer window slams shut on Tuesday night, as he could steer them to the Premier League title.
Even after an unconvincing display against Wycombe on Saturday, there are very few problems at Tottenham this season.
They have a squad packed full of talent, a group of players that know how their manager wants them to play, and they have the results to back it all up.
The defence has been phenomenal, conceding just 16 league goals this season, while the attack has been equally as prolific and incisive.
However, the question remains over their squad depth in attack, with very little cover for premier goalscorer Harry Kane.
Vincent Janssen is the current deputy, but the 22-year-old simply hasn’t found his feet yet in England, and cannot be considered a man capable of leading Tottenham to the title – if Kane were to be sidelined.
That’s where Martial comes in. Not only would the Frenchman provide substantial cover to Kane in the centre-forward role, he would also provide an excellent option out wide – another position where Spurs could improve.
Erik Lamela has been injured for large parts of the season, while summer signing Moussa Sissoko has been inconsistent; there is a role in that Spurs line-up and it is calling for Martial.
His adept dribbling and finishing ability can be a real asset as Spurs look to maintain their push for domestic success, while he is still one of France’s most-promising talents, even if he has struggled at Old Trafford.
He possesses many of the same attributes that a certain north London hero once had during his playing days, Arsenal’s Thierry Henry, and with blistering pace to add, could emulate his compatriot.
At this stage of the campaign, Chelsea remain firm favourites for the Premier League title with their nine point advantage over third-place Spurs.
Yet while rivals Arsenal have improved upon a minor blip that saw them drop points against Everton, Manchester City and Bournemouth, it is Mauricio Pochettino’s side that looks the most likely team to catch Chelsea in the title race.
It will be very difficult. But with players like Dele Alli, Victor Wanyama and Christian Eriksen in this kind of form, the addition of the Manchester United outcast could be the icing on the cake.
The big problem that Tottenham will face, is that even if Mourinho does cast Martial aside, he will be reluctant to let him join a league rival – on loan, or on a permanent deal.
They won’t have much time to persuade him either, with the transfer window slamming shut in just three days’ time. But Pochettino simply needs to focus on the impact Martial can have on their season, and do everything in his power to sign him before Tuesday’s deadline.
In other Tottenham transfer news, the club have agreed terms with midfielder Luke Amos, who is set to join Southend on loan.