Don’t Worry Anthony Martial Wasn’t Just Bought For The Next Manchester United Manager


“I have not bought Martial for me. I have bought him for the next manager of Manchester United.”

Those were the words of Manchester United’s manager Louis van Gaal, when talking about his new £36m signing Anthony Martial.

Since then, in the next two games, Martial came off the bench to score a cracker against Liverpool on his debut and then played the full ninety minutes a few days later in United’s Champions League loss to PSV.

Clearly Martial is one for now not just for the future.

Obviously his impact against Liverpool, plus Wayne Rooney’s injury, has hastened his arrival into the starting line-up.

But with the lack of forward options, a problem Van Gaal signed off on, we were always going to see more of Martial than Louis would lead us to believe.

Possibly the young Frenchman’s talents have suitably impressed the Dutch manager, beyond his initial thoughts.

Martial certainly lived up to all the Thierry Henry comparisons with his first United goal.

A nice turn of pace, a dip of his shoulder and his quick feet left Premier League defensive veteran Martin Skrtel in knots. Martial would then keep his composure as he opened up his body and curled the ball beyond Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet. It was very Henry-eseque and the Man Utd fans loved every minute of it.

He looked confident and offered much needed pace in United’s attack, ultimately he was a breath of fresh air needed it in that game.

Against PSV, Martial was given a tough task of playing as the sole striker but within the game the nineteen year old showed that he really could be a force in the (near) future.

As well as being speedy, Anthony showed he’s got a good first touch, could work the channels and hold off strong defenders as he held up the ball in dangerous positions. We knew about the speed but the strength wasn’t greatly known about outside of France.

Pace and the power are the tools needed to become a top class striker these days. To see him use his body in such away, early on in his United career, is extremely encouraging especially in big games!

Against the Dutch champions, Anthony Martial also showed a good understanding with United’s other big summer signing; Memphis Depay. The way the two linked up will also please Van Gaal and the clubs fans.

Now for the note of caution.

Although Martial has made a strong start to his Man United career, there will no doubt be inconsistent performances to come (much like the rest of United’s squad at the moment). He is still learning and adapting.

Van Gaal will need to manage the youngster properly.

That takes me back to his quote about being for the next Manchester United manager… Let’s call his Ryan.

In a way he’s right, if Martial continues to develop in the same way he should become a world-class talent and that potential might not be realised until after Van Gaal has left Old Trafford (if he does indeed leave in the summer of 2017). At that time, the young attacker will still only be twenty-one!

By making that statement in public, Van Gaal is also trying to manage expectation and not pile on too much pressure on Martial’s shoulders. It is a strong managerial method, that has worked many times before.

But that raises the question on why Louis van Gaal didn’t also bring in a more experienced Premier League striker that could fill in when needed?

Rooney’s injury has shown us two things. One that Martial is a great talent to keep an eye on and secondly that United are very weak in terms of forward options.

Let’s just hope that the French internationalist doesn’t eventually burn out as he could end up being over exposed this season!

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