At 22 years old, Anthony Martial still has plenty of time to reach his expected potential. After a stagnated few seasons under José Mourinho, he looks like he’s getting back to his very best – and there’s nothing more exciting than a free flowing Toto running riot.
His early 2017/18 form was fantastic. This was however, put on hold after the somewhat unnecessary signing of Alexis Sánchez. United fans asked themselves; why? Martial could do the exact same job Sánchez could do, but, better. Anyway, because Sánchez had been brought in as a marquee signing on huge figures he was shifted straight into Manchester United’s starting XI with no questions asked. Martial had the best goals per minute ratio in the league before the Chilean was signed – it was mind boggling that he was benched just like that but also understandable from a ‘logical’ point of view in the sense that how could he be paid that much and not start? – a problem caused by the club’s current transfer strategy.
The talent that Martial possesses is immense and so obvious to see. It would be a fair point to make that he is a confidence player. This is the exact reason he needs a run of games before he can show his true self. In his debut season at Manchester United he scored 18 goals and assisted 11 times showing how capable he really is. To get those numbers in your first season of the Premier League and at the tender age of just 19 is a superb return.
He has now performed under two different defensive-minded managers so it begs the question – how good can Anthony Martial be under an attacking minded manager like Leonardo Jardim (who previously coached Martial at Monaco) or Mauricio Pochettino?
Martial is currently in the process of negotiating a contract renewal with United which looks like it will be solved before the turn of the year. United will be securing his prime years which will be a bonus for the future of both the club and player.
Prime years plus a manager that can work on his talent, equals success. It’s as simple as that. His positional versatility is one of his finest traits. Being able to play on either wing and up front gives his manager a variety of options, but his best form has come when he has played on the left wing drifting in almost as a second striker. As Jamie Redknapp put it on Super Sunday: “When he plays in this position he is the best they have.”.
Whatever happens, Anthony Martial must be given game time to excel and (thankfully) that’s exactly what he’s getting at Manchester United right now. What do they get in return? Goals, assists and lots of them.