Ole Gunnar Solskjaer challenged Anthony Martial to follow in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United.
Martial put pen to paper on a £200,000-a-week, five-year contract at Old Trafford and while United have struggled this season, Martial’s form has offered fans plenty of encouragement.
And should they asses the record and stats behind Martial’s performances since he arrived from Monaco in September 2015, they will find more reason for belief in Solskjaer’s words on Friday.
Martial has played 104 Premier League games for United and has scored 10 more than when Ronaldo had played the same amount, with 32.
Martial has also provided two more assists in that time – 16 compared to the 14 of Ronaldo.
The France international has achieved all that in less time than Ronaldo. Martial’s 104 appearances equate to 6,958 minutes on the pitch while Ronaldo’s make 7,051.
The one edge Ronaldo has over Martial, however, is when it comes chances created. Ronaldo had carved out 149 for his team over his first 104 United games, where as Martial has made 122.
Speaking at his Friday press conference ahead of United’s game against Leicester, Solskjaer said: ‘
Cristiano was the best. The way he’s changed to now, that’s up to any player if you make a decision on how to develop your own career.
‘You’ve got to model yourself on someone and you’ve got to have more challenges ahead.
‘I spoke (to him) about my experience at this club what he can achieve. You talk about Cristiano’s career, what he’s made, how he’s got there and all the fantastic players we’ve got.
‘Anthony wants to be a part of this, and the club have got a top player there.’
This is a big renewal for United. Martial was on his way out of the club on a free transfer, but OGS in six weeks was able to convince him that United is where his future was.