With each passing week, French wunderkind Anthony Martial has been further proving to the Premier League that he’s well worth the £36 million price tag.
Martial has made an instant impact at Manchester United, scoring 3 goals in just 2 Premier League appearances. With only 115 Prem minutes under his belt, he currently stands in joint 7th on the goal scorers list, alongside the likes of Dimitri Payet and André Ayew, both of whom have started all 6 of their clubs games.
He’s even ahead of top of the league Manchester City’s top goal scorers: Fernando (2), Yaya Touré (1) and, Sergio Agüero (1). With Sunderland coming over to Old Trafford next week, he looks set to keep his great run going.
As the 19 year old has only been in England for a couple of weeks, his English is still very limited but, his actions on the pitch have been able to do all of the talking for him. He has teamed up very well with the other United players and has appeared to solve the attacking issues that dominated the United headlines at the start of the season.
His goals at St. Mary’s showed that he doesn’t just posses huge amounts of technical ability but, his passive football skills are far more advanced than his tender age would suggest.
Martial’s first goal showcased his football intelligence when he followed up a stray ball into the box, Mata squared the ball to him and then, instead of shooting into an open, but ever closing, left side of the goal he dummied and juked to the right, fooling the defender and keeper, to then seal a more assured finish. He displayed the composure of a veteran.
The Frenchman’s second goal of the day further showed off his passive abilities. When Maya Yoshida’s pass across the defence went astray, Martial was already at full speed, just on the slight chance that the ball would go lose. His lightning pace and acute awareness saw him get to the ball before the defenders had even turned around. He ran into the box and released a ruthless finish to the back of the net, once again displaying his expert composure.
Anthony Martial’s incredible anticipation, vision and composure perfectly aid his incredible natural footballing talent which makes him magic on the pitch.
Manchester United’s manager, Louis van Gaal, had this to say about his super striker:
“It is true [he has made a good start] but the problem is that he is 19 years old and you cannot expect consistency from him, but he has played three matches in a row at a remarkably high level and he scores goals, which is also important.”
“He cannot speak English, so I have to speak French with him and I need help with that from Fellaini and Schneiderlin,”
“It is very difficult but he is willing to learn English so it is a matter of time, I think.”
“When he speaks English well enough, he shall answer the questions himself. But first he has to learn English and adapt to the English culture. I have to say that he is doing great. He’s played three matches in a row and scored three goals. It is one for one, so that is not bad.”
“He has the talent for it, that I have said, but when you are 19 years old you cannot expect consistency. Mostly, he shall have a lot of dips so that I expect also from him.”
“But that is not a big problem for me. I am very happy with what he gave in three matches and the talent at a high level. And he has adapted to the system that we want, which is also important.”
“Not every player can adapt to the system but he shows that he wants to do that and it is not so easy.”
Team mate, and fellow countryman, Morgan Schneiderlin rates the 19 year old very highly and commented on his performances so far:
“It’s like you see in the game – he is very calm, very relaxed. He is an amazing talent. He came to the Premier League and he scores and he wants to do his best.”
“He’s a very intelligent guy, very calm. Today he showed great composure and great skill and power. He will be a great player for the future of Manchester United.”
Manchester United host Ipswich Town in the Cup, on Wednesday, and then Sunderland, on Saturday, hopefully Anthony Martial can add to his goal tally in either, or both, of these fixtures.