Jose Mourinho believes that Manchester United forward Anthony Martial will have a good season after a quiet start at the Old Trafford club. Last season, Martial was the signing of the summer after being tipped as a waste of money after his deadline day signing for the club, but in goal against Liverpool on his debut, finishing the season with 17 goals in 49 appearances in all competitions. Martial was a breath of fresh air as United were lacking attacking players after Javier Hernandez and Robin van Persie were sold and Radamel Falcao was not retained after his disastrous year-long loan spell at the club. Martial and Marcus Rashford did well to keep United in the mix, finishing fifth in the Premier League, on goal difference to Manchester City.
Mourinho seems to be a fan of the Frenchman, who will be a prolific forward in the years to come. Him having a good first season at United has set a precedence, which will see many expecting him to pull it out of the bag each and every season. The player is going through some personal troubles at this moment in time, which can be something that affects his form. Martial was not picked as a starting player for France during this summer’s European Championships with the host nation finishing as runners-up after Portugal beat them on penalties. That also could be something which has affected his form this season. Sky Sports reported Moutinho, speaking about Martial, as saying:
“I think when a team is not playing especially well and in the middle of that average level somebody comes out of that, he goes immediately to the highlight.
“I think this is a different picture. Last season, no Martial, no three points. This season, no Martial goals and three victories. The team is okay. Other players are scoring goals.
“I think he’s performing more than okay. I wouldn’t expect much more than that. He had no pre-season. He was the last one to arrive apart from Paul Pogba. Some guys take more time. I think he’s doing fine.
“I think he’s going to have a normal season. And for a guy of his qualities, a normal season is a good season so I think he will have a good season.”
This season, Martial and Rashford can learn a lot from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who Mourinho signed in July after seeing the player’s contract with Paris Saint-Germain expire. The swede scored 50 goals in 51 matches last season and has already scored four goals (in competitive matches) for United this season; the winner in the FA Community Shield, one against Bournemouth and a brace against Southampton. Ibrahimovic could be the first player to score in his first four appearances for United, should he score against Hull City this evening, match the record set by Jimmy Hanson in 1925. Many see this as meaningless, but for a player that likes to win and set records, Zlatan will use it to drive him, which is where I feel he will become something of a role model for Martial and Rashford, helping both to become much better in the years to come.
Martial is a player with the talent to succeed at the club, he has shown that last season after being written off as a panic buy from day one, despite the fact the club had been monitoring him for years, with Sir Alex Ferguson watching the player himself many years ago. The media were very poor when reporting on the relatively unknown Frenchman last season, and were paid back for writing him off. You see other clubs bringing in young players for a lot of money, such as John Stones to Manchester City for £47.5 million, Raheem Sterling to the same club for £49 million and Leroy Sane in a deal which could rise to £41.5 million, yet these players have potential, which is something that the media must not have seen in Martial, who was 19 at the time he signed for United. One thing is for sure here, no matter what the media say, as they are very biased, Martial is a great signing, is tipped to be one of the best in the world, and under Mourinho, the player could hone his talent and commence his rise to the top this season.