4. Anthony Martial
There was a point during the COVID-impacted 2019/20 campaign where it looked like Martial was finally fulfilling his supposed Ballon d’Or potential – that’s what the clause in his optimistic Manchester United contact suggests, anyway.
The Frenchman ended that season with 17 Premier League goals as he effectively operated as United’s number nine. However, since then, Martial has drifted back into obscurity. He’s scored just four league goals since the start of 2020/21 and was thrust to the periphery by Ole Gunnar Solksjaer before his departure. A knee injury has since prevented him from impressing interim boss Ralf Rangnick.
The 26-year-old has reached a crossroads in his career and the only solution appears to be a move away from Old Trafford. Juventus have been linked with an initial six-month loan and Martial might be worth taking a punt on – but only after other options have been explored. He has the talent, that’s for sure, but I simply can’t envisage the enigmatic Frenchman evolving into Juve’s long-term number nine.
Like Aubameyang, Martial’s monster salary is an obvious deterrent – or “red flag”, as the kids say these days.
3. Mauro Icardi
Icardi’s similar to Aubameyang in that he’ll be a stop-gap option. However, if Juventus are forced to go down the short-term route once more, the Argentine is a better option than the former Arsenal skipper.
Should Juve pursue Icardi, it’ll likely be an initial loan deal with an option to buy with the player apparently desperate to leave Paris Saint-Germain.
Icardi’s spell in the French capital has been far from disastrous from a goalscoring perspective – 36 goals in 80 games – but he’s never been able to assert himself and the fact he’s a mere spare part in a superstar squad must have dealt his ego a monumental blow. No wonder he wants out.
The Wanda-adoring Argentine wants to feel special again, just as he did at Inter before their bitter divorce. Juventus could offer him a route back into Calcio, and it wouldn’t be the worst option. The 28-year-old still knows where the back of the net is and an initial loan would be wise.
It gives the club time to reassess should these next two options prove impossible to snag in January.
Continues onto the next slide…