Man Utd’s Martial earns praise from past and present France stars
After sealing a shock £36m switch to Old Trafford, Manchester United’s new French starlet Anthony Martial has come under the spotlight for the mammoth price-tag he arrives for, with questions being raised over his potential with Louis van Gaal’s Red Devils.
The 19-year-old became the most expensive teenager in history on Deadline Day, agreeing a move from Monaco to sign a four-year deal with United, leaving many involved in the sport to ponder his chances of succeeding in his new surroundings.
Although, along with the doubts, France international call-up Martial has earned the plaudits of both current Les Bleus teammate Paul Pogba and former striker Louis Saha, as he embarks on a potentially exciting career with both club and country, who are 7/2 with Coral to win Euro 2016 on home soil.
“I call him ‘the young old man’ because he’s 19 and he’s already so mature for his age,” stated Juventus midfielder Pogba.
“I already knew him well, he has great ability and a huge amount of potential. He will bring a lot to the French team.
“I’m very happy for him, he’s changed clubs now, he’s in the Premier League where he will train with great players and will keep improving.”
Pogba left Old Trafford in 2012 to join Turin titans Juventus, after a fall-out with then boss Sir Alex Ferguson, and has captured much success with the reigning Serie A champions, though Martial will hope to enjoy a more long-term United career than his international teammate.
Van Gaal’s side began the new Premier League campaign brightly, in which they are 14/1 to triumph come next May, though suffered a setback in a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Swansea City, but can their new French forward help repair any damage?
Former France and Red Devils frontman Saha, who enjoyed a trophy-laden four years at Old Trafford, believes his fellow countryman can do exactly that on the red half of Manchester.
“He’s got that speed, that power, he’s got that youth in him so he’ll surprise a lot of defenders because they don’t know him,” declared Saha.
“It’s a great asset for Manchester United and that’s what they needed because up front they lack speed sometimes.
“In France we call him the next Thierry Henry because he can play left or right and he’s got a great ability with the ball.
“He can take on three, four players with ease, there is no problem. At the same time, the new generation have no fear.”
Martial could be in line for a baptism of fire as his possible debut in red could come on his new home ground against bitter rivals Liverpool this weekend, the perfect the platform for the teenager to potentially make an instant impact and prove any doubters wrong.