Anthony Martial has had a great first season at Manchester United after sealing his £36 million deadline day transfer just over a year ago. Immediately he was labelled as a ‘waste of money’, but soon got rid of that label as he scored against Liverpool at Old Trafford in the final few minutes of that 3-1 victory for United. The Frenchman then started to find his feet, starting matches and performing, being praised as one of the best young forwards in Europe, also being awarded the Golden Boy award. Martial finished last season with 17 goals to his name, assisting a further eight for his teammates, which ended his debut season on a high. During the current international break, Martial scored his first goal for his country, despite being used throughout the last season for his country and then seldom used during the European Championships this past summer, where France finished as runners-up to Portugal.
Martial is a great talent and seems to know what he wants to get out of the game. He is not yet matching the likes of Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to earn the plaudits of European football, but he is tipped to take them all for a ride in the years to come by those who watched him develop his game before being signed by former United manager Louis van Gaal over a year ago. Martial is currently occupying a place on United left-wing, a position he feels happy in, and played the majority of last season in, keeping Memphis Depay out of the starting XI on many occasions. Martial is a great player to have in the squad, he is quick to the ball, great at beating his man and then for him to cut in from the left towards goal, beating his man and getting a shot off is good to see, The Frenchman can be a real handful which is a reason as to why he is heavily marked by opposition teams.
Former Manchester United striker Andy Cole feels that Martial is one for the now and for the future after his performances for the club last season. The European Championships in the summer were not the ideal competition for Martial, being left out of the team on numerous occasions, then coming on too late in the final to change the game, with Didier Deschamps side ending up the losers on the night, which was deservedly so, based on the manager not taking chances throughout the competition. Martial is a mainstay in the United squad and under Mourinho, could be heading for all the glory, which would really kickstart his career at the club. Cole, speaking exclusively to 888Sport, said:
“I see it as an extension of the Euros. He played a game then got left out and didn’t feature after that and of course that’s going to dent your confidence. He’s a young man and had a fantastic season last season with Manchester United but confidence is everything. He is too good a player not to turn that around and Mourinho will help Anthony get his confidence back. He has worked with players his age before.
“I’ll think he will be okay because all it takes is a goal and I’m not sitting here worried about him because he is far too good not to get out of the slump he’s in.”
This season, Martial has not played his best football, but that is to be expected after the busy summer he has had, not to mention his personal troubles, which have clearly affected him. He will rise to the top of his game once again and will start to play his best football once again. Working under Mourinho this season, the Portuguese will bring out the best of the player, as with the added benefit of playing alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is a winner and will bring that mentality out of all his teammates. United will rise out of their decline this season. All the ingredients are there for that happen, it will take a bit of time for it to be perfected, then the real Manchester United will stand up and announce themselves to the world’s stage once again.
Read the full 888sport interview with Andy Cole, including his thoughts on how Marcus Rashford can become an Old Trafford legend.