Zinedine Zidane: Anthony Martial “looks good for the future”

Footballing legend Zinedine Zidane stated that 19-year-old Manchester United striker Anthony Martial is not like Thierry Henry yet, but has the potential to be a great. Zidane is regarded as one of the most knowledgable former professionals. The former Real Madrid and French national team striker showed his talents on the field throughout his career and to give praise to a young French striker such as Martial, is a truly respectable. Zidane spoke about the comparisons made between Martial and Thierry Henry:

“Thierry Henry is one of the greats, it’s not fair to put that pressure on the kid. It’s obvious he is full of ability and confidence, so it looks good for the future.”

Martial has been phenomenal since signing for United for a whopping £36 million from AS Monaco in the summer. The most expensive teenager in the world has already bagged five goals for the Red Devils this season and has continued to perform well in multiple positions. Martial proved that he can play on the wing after he started on the left in three consecutive matches. He played on the wing for his former club, Monaco, and this only proves that United have paid this much for a talented and versatile athlete. The Frenchman played in the No. 9 position for United in every game prior to those three, but with Wayne Rooney “undroppable” and Ander Herrera playing well, Martial was sacrificed and placed on the wing. Following more poor performances from Rooney, Martial might go back up top again with the re-introduction of Memphis Depay, who has also struggled recently.

For Martial, pressure to perform has been there since the day he signed for United. With a hefty price tag and the praise coming from former clubs and football pundits, Martial could not have done a more perfect job silencing those who criticized his move to Old Trafford. The 19-year-old was a substitute for United against Liverpool where he went on to score a sublime goal to seal a 3-1 victory of the club’s bitter rival. Zidane mentioned the price tag and pressure that Martial faced when signing for United, but Zidane feels that Martial should not feel the pressure:

“People went crazy when Juventus paid all that money for Gianluigi Buffon in 2001 – how could a goalkeeper be worth that much? Who can look now and say Buffon was anything other than one of the greatest buys ever?

“It’s the same with Ronaldo – after all the goals, and all the trophies, who mentions the fee now?”

Zidane makes a great point by comparing the price tag of Martial to that of Buffon and Ronaldo. Once the trophies come in and the goals rack up, everyone will have forgotten the extreme fee paid for Martial. The future that awaits Martial is promising and rather exciting for United fans as the team is having difficulty at the moment with a recent draw in the Manchester derby and knocked out in the Capital One Cup to Middlesbrough; both matches were at home. United have failed to score at home in the month of October, and unfortunately, it is a trend seen with Louis van Gaal’s side.

Van Gaal’s United have had tough times at home and somehow tend to perform better on the road. Martial, who has scored more goals away from Old Trafford than at the Theatre of Dreams, has just been unlucky in recent matches. Martial had several glorious chances in recent matches that have just missed, and he continues to keep his head up and go again. Unfortunately for him, Rooney has not been the ideal strike partner as the England skipper has been far below the expected level of play of him. Martial has already proved his worth but has to stay consistent and he might just force United to pay the apparent add-on fee if the French youngster goes on to claim a FIFA Ballon d’or award.


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