When Anthony Martial made his shock £36million move from Monaco to Manchester United, he was not a household name in European football.
Even United captain Wayne Rooney admitted had to look up Martial on Google, so little did he know about the Frenchman.
“Well, he knows me now, doesn’t he?” said Martial ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final against Crystal Palace.
“I’ve heard that story. I guess it’s pretty amusing.”
After 17 goals and 11 assists an all competitions – a fair share of those match-winners – Rooney is not the only one who is now acutely aware of Martial’s prowess.
The 20-year-old finished the club’s top scorer after plenty of eyebrows were raised at the hefty sum United paid for his services.
And while 17 goals is a modest figure next to those put up by the likes of former United star Cristiano Ronaldo, Martial insists there is a lot more to come even if he does not always look too bothered when he scores.
“Goalscoring is what I do,” Martial said.
“It’s the thing that makes me most happy. I’m really happy inside but I’m just not the sort of guy who shows that on the outside too much. But not happy when I score? Scoring makes me happiest because it’s what it’s all about.”
While Martial’s season has been brilliant on a personal note, it has been soured by the team’s overall performance.
A group-stage exit from the Champions League and a fifth-place finish in the Premier League means United will not be in the world’s premier club competition next season.
But Martial insists he is happy in Manchester despite that and wants to stay at Old Trafford for the foreseeable future.
“I love Manchester, I love being here and certainly I see myself being here for a good while yet,” the France international said.
“Obviously the future’s a good while ahead yet, but I’m certainly happy here.
“You never know what happens in the future, but the fans have really accepted me really well. They’ve been happy with me and I think the fact they sing a song about me all the time shows they’re quite happy with me. I just do my best to try and pay back that support.”
“I’ve got a special relationship with the fans and I’m grateful because they’ve always been there for me and I’m thankful for that.”
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