Three reasons why Man United star Anthony Martial is the real deal
Three reasons why Anthony Martial is the real deal after helping Man United beat Southampton
1) His composure in front of goal
As far as dream starts to a Premier league career go, Anthony Martial’s must be up there with the greatest. To score against your club’s hated rivals Liverpool on debut and then add two more in you first full 90 minutes is immense in itself. But it’s the way the young French forward finished the chances in such ice-cool fashion that has the pundit’s mouths watering. The 19-year-old displays such an air of calm in front of goal, it’s as if he knows he’s never going to miss. He displayed astonishing quick feet to skip through Liverpool’s defence before opening his body up and sliding the ball past Simon Mignolet in his first appearance. Louis van Gaal was roundly criticised when the transfer window closed for seemingly leaving his squad short of options up front. The departure of strikers Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez has barely been mentioned since the 3-1 win over Liverpool, and if Martial can maintain his stunning start to the season, they won’t be missed at all.
2) He’s not phased by the price tag
When the signing of relatively unknown Martial from was Monaco was announced, the general consensus was that he was a panic buy. ‘How can a player who’s scored just 11 goals in 52 games in the French league be worth £58m?’, the media asked. The deal was actually ‘only’ worth £36million in terms of an initial payment but it may rise to the original figure if all the relevant clauses are met. But the point is that you can’t put a price on potential. Of course, it’s a risk but you can guarantee that United’s scouts would have done their homework. The club would have researched his temperament, his history, what makes him tick, all to discover whether he would handle the pressure of playing for one of the world’s biggest clubs at such a young age. Another French striker who was deemed a risky signing back in 1992 was Eric Cantona whom Alex Ferguson bought him from Leeds United. The mercurial striker helped lay the foundations of the dynasty that Martial now must play a big part in rebuilding.
3) He’s only going to get better
When Thierry Henry was asked why Martial will prove so important to United and why Van Gaal splashed so much cash to capture him, he answered: “He’s has pace.. and he has more pace… and another thing is he’s got pace!”. Henry is right. Pace is at a premium is the Premier League. It’s been said frequently but it’s the one thing that truly terrifies defenders. The prospect of playing 90 minutes against someone who has the combination of speed and stamina of Martial will be giving centre backs sleepless nights. If we can assume that at 19 year old the striker is nowhere near his peak, then fans of Manchester United have every reason to start getting carried away. Whether ‘Iron Tulip’ van Gaal is the ideal manager to draw out that potential is another question, but for now it’s working rather well at Old Trafford considering the club is still a work in progress.