The French starlet has been a revelation since the start of his career just like AS Monaco youngster Kylian Mbappe. Martial completed a huge transfer move from AS Monaco to Manchester United some seasons ago as he lit up the room at Old Trafford.
On the player’s debut which came more interestingly against arch-rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford, the forward scored to make a statement for himself. United won 3-1 on the occasion as Anthony Martial used the game to announce himself in the Premier League despite coming on as a substitute.
The French man scored an individual goal of immense quality likened to Thierry Henry’s solo goal against Liverpool in the 4-2 win at Highbury years back as he (Martial) evaded the Liverpool defence, particularly defender Martin Skrtel before finding the bottom corner of the net to set the tone for a 3-1 win.
The French man continued to flourish alongside Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Dutch forward Memphis Depay in transition as United churned out some positive result in the season. However things went somehow bad for the Frenchman especially during the latter stages of Louis Van Gaal’s reign at Manchester United.
This saw the emergence of young talent like defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Marcus Rashford as the latter drew headlines following decent performance among the United mix. This seems to steal the focus and glory from Martial as the English press was taking aback by the performance of the young talent Marcus Rashford.
This never improved as United, under the managerial influence of Manager Jose Mourinho made the acquisition of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to beef up United attack coupled with the signing of Paul Pogba from Juventus for a record fee. This took the shy off Martial as the French player gradually turned into a squad player and was not even among one of Jose’s favourite in the starting eleven.
This affected the player’s confidence despite some string of good performances like in the game against Stoke City (1-1) at Old Trafford and Watford (2-0) where the forward was on the target alongside Spanish playmaker Juan Mata. It seemed the manager was clearly not satisfied with Martial’s performance as he challenged the player to prove his worth on the United shirt.
This might have taken time for Anthony Martial to deal with but with the recent performance of the French star, the manager is beginning to believe that Martial is important and key to the club as the player have proven that he can have a say as regards to United’s season.
Two goals in two matches might not be enough for a charismatic manager like Mourinho who is occasionally adamant and difficult to convince. Nevertheless, with the performances seen from Martial in the games against West Ham United at home and Swansea City, it will go a long way to speak for the player in the dressing room as United manager (Jose) makes decision on his starting team (line-up) in the days ahead with a view of the next game against former champions Leicester City at Old Trafford.
Photo by Ben Sutherland