Anthony Martial is the proof that Louis Van Gaal is doing something right
The entire footballing world was in a bit of a standstill due the waves of shocks created by Manchester United and Luis Van Gaal after the completion of a 36 million agreement which confirmed Anthony Martial’s transfer move from AS Monaco to Manchester United. The deal could rise to a record 57.6 million based on various clauses that serve as a bonus to the French team.
Each bonus clause in worth 7.2 million; the clauses relate to certain accomplishments that he may achieve over the next four years which includes if Martial scores 25 goals during that span, attains 25 caps for France or winning the Ballon D’or before June 2019.
Anthony Martial got his Manchester United season underway in the most spectacular fashion, dribbling past the Liverpool defence with a strong and solid run after slotting home the ball which completed a brilliant individual effort. Anthony Martial’s debut is not one to forget for any Manchester United supporter.
The fact that it was against Liverpool made it all the more delicious to the Manchester United faithful. In the same month, Martial made his first premier league start against Southampton and scored twice as Manchester United won the game 2-3. Martial’s immediate impact was praised by a number of critics and also included Sir Alex Ferguson who said, “he can do anything”. Martial managed to get 4 goals under his belt in his first four appearances for the club.
Martial’s style of play quickly won over the hearts of the supporters of the club. Compared to legend Thierry Henry it can be noted that the two of them have a similar playing style. Martial has now developed a reputation for himself with his dribbling abilities combined with his strength and pace. He is known to terrorize defenders who are assigned to mark him with his quick feet and blistering pace over a short distance.
The only silver lining during a string of disappointing results
During the month of December, Manchester United failed to win a single game suffering a home loss to Norwich (1-2), the champions exit after losing to Wolfsburg F.C, the goalless draws at Old Trafford against Chelsea and West Ham, the 2-0 loss to Stoke City, and the 2-1 loss to Bournemouth.
Though the Manchester United side looked like they were forced to play Anthony Martial never failed to deliver from his side. Martial seemed like the only player who was able to create something in a confidence-wrecked Manchester United side. Though the results were not in favour of The Red Devils’ Martial’s contribution was inevitable; with the Frenchman able to get past his marker with a piece of skill or a burst of pace.
During this December period, Martial operated as the main striker before switching to the left-wing in some games. His goal against Norwich in the 2-1 home loss was voted as The Reds’ ‘Goal of the Month’ and he was also voted as Manchester United’s “Player of the Month” with 69% votes in his favour ahead of Chris Smalling and Daley Blind.
There is no doubt about Anthony Martial’s ability and the amount of natural talent he possesses cannot be put to question. His composure in front of goal and his ability to run straight at defenders does make him a special player. At just 20 years of age, his composure and technique in front of goal can be compared to certain established and/or seasoned veterans.
The pressure of making an immediate impact and the huge price-tag against him might be factors that others use against him. Even Louis Van Gaal said Manchester United had paid a “ridiculous” amount for a 19-year-old but Martial doesn’t seem affected yet by these statements and is still going strong providing the Manchester United fans with regular glimpses of his obvious talent .
Martial has received tons of praise from fellow team-mates like Mata and Blind saying that the young Frenchman can do anything and that its s treat to play alongside him after his impressive display against Derby County in a 1-3 F.A Cup 4th round victory.
With just 3 seasons of first team football under his belt, Manchester United can expect great things to come from Martial in the future provided the club as-well-as the supporters are patient with his growth and development. Luis Van Gaal mentioned at the time of signing that the hefty amount spent on Martial was not meant for immediate success but to develop the youngster and make him a prominent name for Manchester United for the future and it seems to be working as the winger proves to be a constant threat to opposing defences.