Is Manchester United’s Anthony Martial Finally Fulfilling His Potential?

This season, Anthony Martial looks hungry to earn his spot in the first team. He knows he faces competition with Marcus Rashford, Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan but remains determined to fulfil his potential.

The young Frenchman has been in good form this season His main assets are his ball control, skill and speed and he utilizes them to shrug off defenders and create chances for either Romelu Lukaku or Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Manchester United United paid a hefty £36 million fee to lure him from French Ligue 1 side AS Monaco back in 2015. Lets not forget £36 million is quite a large sum of money for an inexperienced teenager but he silenced the media in his first season.

Martial’s first season at Manchester United shocked lots of people including myself. We all expected him to struggle in his opening season in the English Premier League but that simply wasn’t the case. He made his debut against none other than arch-rivals Liverpool. Manchester United won 3-1 with Martial scoring a memorable himself to kick start his Old Trafford career.

The Frenchman skipped through a crowd of Liverpool defenders to enter the penalty area and applied a composed finish similar to an experienced Premier League striker to score his first goal for the club on his Premier League debut.

He had a very successful first season in England and he also won the Player of the Month award in September. Things were looking great for the Frenchman. He finished off the season as Manchester United’s top goalscorer and also won the FA Cup with The Red Devils.

Anthony Martial Celebrating His First Goal for Manchester United
Picture: Anthony Martial celebrating his debut goal for Manchester United against Liverpool at Old Trafford in September 2015.

His Brief Decline & Attempt to Revive His United Career

At the end of the 2015/16 season, Louis van Gaal was dismissed by Manchester United and José Mourinho was his successor. Manchester United were backed to win the title after making significantly strong signings in Paul Pogba (£89m), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Free), Eric Bailly (£30m) and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

He retained his position at left wing ahead of Marcus Rashford and had to fight for his place. He had a dip in form which lost him his place to Rashford due to a series of poor performances. He eventually regained his place in the starting line-up due to his goal against Stoke City and formed a promising run of form.

His poor run of form inevitably led to rumours of an imminent departure but they were simply speculation and he finished the campaign with a flourish by winning the EFL Cup and UEFA Europa League in Mourinho’s first season at the helm. He was unable to match the heights of his debut season but he still contributed eight goals for the red devils.

Mourinho kept Anthony Martial benched for the early stages of the 2017/18 campaign but it didn’t stop him from making a positive impact. Martial scored twice and made an assist in just 25 minutes of football in their first two Premier League fixtures of the season against West Ham and Swansea City respectively.

He’s already exceeded his goal tally in all competitions from last season with nine goals overall but he’s also contributed six assists. The 22-year-old has enjoyed a relatively impressive season, especially considering he’s only started 19 matches in all competitions. He’s currently starting more regularly and is flourishing with his extended playing time, whether he can maintain this form lies will be revealed in the future.

 

 

 

Cian Darcy

Cian is Irish and enjoys watching Premier League and Bundesliga. His favourite teams are Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund. A few of his favourite players are Mario Götze, Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho. You can follow him on twitter @Ciano_Darcy

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