'Next Thierry Henry' follows his path to Monaco

Are Juventus, Arsenal, and Barcelona the logical next steps for Antony Martial?

Anthony Martial has a reputation already as one of Europe's most promising young strikers.

This is owed to breaking into the Lyon first team at just 17, and a superb goalscoring record at French youth level.

Martial is still 17 and has just clinched a €5 million transfer to Monaco, as the big-spending side from the principality invest in the future as well as the present.

He in doing so follows in the footsteps of a striker he idolises and has already been compared to, Thierry Henry.

Anthony Martial like Henry has family heritage in the island of Guadeloupe, and also began his career at Les Ulis, a youth team in the south-west of Paris.

Henry is the club's most famous graduate, and Martial has got his career back on the same path as the great man by signing for Monaco.

Monaco were the club where Henry made his first in-roads as a professional footballer, turning professional in 1994, signed up by none other than Arsene Wenger.

Henry had great success at Monaco long after Wenger departed, winning a young French footballer of the year award and leading them to the Ligue One title.

That was back in 1996-97, just a year being instrumental in their Champions League run to the semi-final and earning international call-ups and subsequently a move to Juventus.

Martial's aim to emulate his idol is clear, and the comparisons will keep on coming. He will be firmly in the shadow of Falcao at the club, but that is no bad thing as it will allow him to develop and chip in when required.

Lyon were said to be fuming about having to sell the prospect, having to cave in due to financial pressures. They had hoped to sell Bafetimbi Gomis instead but the player stalled over a move.

Monaco were only too glad to see their offer, a real bargain, accepted, and Martial will hope to provide an antithesis to the big-spending culture being overseen by Claudio Ranieri at the whim of another Russian billionaire.

If Martial can go onto emulate the success Henry had, a career at fellow top clubs Juventus, Arsenal or Barcelona could even beckon, where the Frenchman also made his mark. 

He is a young footballer whose name is well worth remembering and his progress keeping a watchful eye on.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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