Everyone scoffed when Manchester United paid £36 million for teenage striker Anthony Martial. But after scoring a brilliant debut goal against Liverpool last week, the French international scored two more in the 3-2 victory at Southampton that moved United up to second place in the Premier League table on Sunday, many United fans think that Martial can be a superstar.
“Anthony Martial is already special because we paid a lot of money for him. A lot of people are thinking he is a great star but he is a boy of 19. In three matches he has shown a lot,” said United boss Van Gaal. “I am very happy with him but we and he have to keep our feet on the ground.”
Van Gaal admitted the youngster will need time to settle into his new surroundings.
“He cannot speak English, I speak French with him, I need help with that with Marouane Fellaini and Morgan Schneiderlin, it is very difficult but he is willing to speak English, it is a matter of time but when he speaks English good enough he will answer the questions.
“First he needs to adapt to the English culture, he is doing great – three matches in a row and three goals. He has the talent for it. When you are 19 years old you cannot expect consistency. Emotionally they shall have a lot of dips so that I expect also from him but that is not a big problem for me.
“I’m very happy that he is in three matches and his talent is at a high level and he adapts to the system of how we want to play, that is also important, not every player can adapt in that system but he shows he wants to do that and he can do that.
“He scores goals. That is the most important thing, that as a striker he scores goals. That is his quality, his talent. He can improve I think but he has a high level of talent. He shows it. He shows it under great pressure and that is maybe his greatest talent.”
What has been the most impressive of Martial’s three goals is that none of them have been easy. But he has shown remarkable composure for someone his age in finding the net.