The two most expensive squads in the Premier League come up against each other on Sunday when Manchester City make the short trip across the city to face rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Money buys talent. And in United and City’s case, talent doesn’t come any better than in the shape of wing wizards Anthony Martial and Leroy Sane.
Both came to Manchester at a combined cost of £100 million with the pair making the switch from their native counties (France and Germany) aged just 19.
Here, MM assesses the impact Martial and Sane have on their respective sides by looking at key stats of two of Europe’s brightest prospects.
- Anthony Joran Martial, Age 22 (Manchester United and France)
- Leroy Aziz Sane, Age 21 (Manchester City and Germany)
Age and Early development
There is only a month’s age gap between Martial and Sane. United’s left-winger was born in December 1995 in Massy, France. His opposite number, Sane, was born a month later in Essen situated in the Ruhr region of Germany.
Martial spent his youth years in Paris-based CO Les Ullis, the same academy a certain Thierry Henry was once at. The Frenchman was signed up by Lyon aged just 14, and was handed his first team debut the day after his 17th birthday.
His talent was then picked up by the riches of AS Monaco, where he impressed and earned his first France cap aged just 18 and shortly afterwards earned his big money move to Manchester.
Sane, meanwhile, is a product of Schalke 04’s excellent youth academy, which has also produced the likes of Manuel Neuer and Julian Draxler.
Just as Martial’s explosive form in Ligue 1 seen him earn a move to Manchester, Sane produced similar form in the Bundesliga which seen Guardiola splash out £43 million to land the flying winger last summer.
In 577 minutes of playing time this season, Martial has scored six goals and registered three assists. The France international has been directly involved in a goal every 64 minutes – a better goal involvement than any other Premier League player so far.
Sane’s stats are also impressive in this department. Six goals and six assists for the German mean that Sane has been directly in 26.09 percent of City’s 46 Premier League goals so far. He averages a goal/assist every 78 minutes.
Sane has completed 28 successful dribbles so far this season, completing one every 34 minutes. Due to fewer minutes on the pitch, Martial has completed fewer (18) but completes a dribble on average every 32 minutes. Dribbling and swaying past opponents is certainly a strong point of both players’ games.
Both Manchester teams create a lot of chances. Martial and Sane are two players who can make key passes for their team-mates.
Martial has made 14 key passes so far this season, while Sane has made eight more (22). Just as is the case with the successful dribbles, there is only two minutes difference once again between the average ratios at which both players make key passes. United’s French star has made a key pass on average once every 41 minutes, with Sane making one every 43 minutes. Sane’s team-mate Kevin De Bruyne has made the most key passes in the league this term (48).
In January 2016 in a game against Newcastle United, Martial ran a speed of 35.40 kmph (22 mph). This speed is the fourth fastest in Premier League history.
Sane holds the record. City’s chief speedster was clocked running at a rapid 35.48 kmph (22.05 mph) in his sides 1-0 away win over Chelsea at the end of September making him the fastest player the Premier League has ever seen.
The key stats are remarkable close between the two players. If Martial and Sane can display the form on Sunday which they have shown in the opening months of the season, then right-backs Kyle Walker and Antonio Valencia will have tough afternoons ahead. The game promises to throw up a treat, and if so then Martial and Sane will no doubt play a huge part.