Manchester United’s fluid attacking football dispatched West Ham in the first match of the Premier League season last week. However, one player who worried supporters by not starting the match was Anthony Martial, who had an excellent pre-season before being left out in each of United’s first two matches.
Martial came on and earned plaudits with a goal and assist in his very brief cameo, silencing doubters and proving that he is still one of the most gifted attacking midfielders at Old Trafford. The young Frenchman should have a massive future at the club despite reportedly persistent interest from other clubs, and Mourinho has confirmed this notion.
Many believed the Portuguese manager wanted to sign a winger who would replace Martial, but this notion was incorrect, as Mourinho has now confirmed that the player he wanted would be able to play as a wingback when United use the three at the back formation. Jesse Lingard played there against Real Madrid despite not being suited to the role.
“I have faith in him. Probably, the player I was looking at [in the transfer market] was not a pure winger, because I have pure wingers. The player I was looking for would allow me to play three at the back and do the wing-backs. As a pure attacking player, Martial is a good player.”
Mourinho went on to say that he believes Martial will improve upon last season, restating the fact that the French international, as well as Romelu Lukaku, Jesse Lingard, and Marcus Rashford, are still young and have years ahead of them at Old Trafford.
“He is one of the players who will have a better season than last season. I look at my players and I am sure some will be better than they were last season, and Anthony is one of those, for sure.
“They’re all young. Micki and Mata are close to their 30’s. Romelu is 24, Lingard and Rashford are a good age and they’re all playing. They are also national team players with the chance to play international games.”
He even went as far as to remind people that United are in many competitions this season, and the Champions League, in particular, will be important for the development of Martial and United’s other younger players.
“We are in the Champions League, so it is the first time for Rashford to play Champions League. Anthony had a bit with Monaco, Lingard had a few matches but not more than that. For Romelu, it is the first time. For them, the Champions league can be a great experience with their development.”
Firstly, the United fans who have been holding their breath for the last twelve months can officially exhale; Martial is set to play an integral role for the Red Devils this season and will continue to develop and gain experience.
However, they never should have been worried in the first place. Mourinho has stated countless times that he is not for sale, most media fronts are reporting that he is not for sale. Martial is the most promising (and, perhaps, expensive) young player in England, let alone at Manchester United, and will not be allowed to fade away.
He seems to be intent on earning his place in the Starting XI, too, and the competition between he and Rashford seems to be extremely friendly and beneficial for both players. United have two of the most talented young forwards in the game at their disposal, the players to carry them through their youth days, and the platform to allow them to succeed and allow fans to enjoy and appreciate their talent.