Gary Neville: Man United star must strive for Lionel Messi’s level, he’s so talented

The Man United legend believes Anthony Martial has the talent to become a truly world-class player

Man United striker Anthony Martial Photo: The Sport Review

Gary Neville has challenged Manchester United striker Anthony Martial to step up and realise his talent to get to Lionel Messi’s world-class level.

The France international has endured something of a stop-start Manchester United career since Jose Mourinho replaced Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford.

Martial moved to the Red Devils in a £36m deal from Ligue 1 side AS Monaco in the 2015 summer transfer window under Van Gaal as something of an unknown in the Premier League.

The 21-year-old scored 11 times in 49 games in all competitions last season to make a brilliant start at Manchester United but fell out-of-favour under Mourinho last term.

The Red Devils boss was regularly critical of Martial’s attitude and limited the forward to 28 starts and 14 substitute appearances in all competitions in the 2016-17 season.

However, Martial has already scored four goals in 10 appearances in the Premier League this term.

Former Manchester United defender Neville believes Martial has the talent to get to the level of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

“The best players in the world don’t have ‘but’s’ – the likes of Luiz Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi – there are no buts. Martial is well off that category but that’s where he’s got to be looking,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“He’s worth £50million and with that talent, he’s got to step up. He scores in big games, he takes big moments on and obviously has the temprement to play in big games. But come on, let’s see it every single week.

“He could be a player that could score 20 goals in 20 games if he really wanted to and strived to be the best.”

Manchester United will make the trip to defending Premier League champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge next weekend.

The Red Devils finished in sixth spot last season but won the League Cup and the Europa League.

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