Manchester United F.C. boss Louis van Gaal has hailed Anthony Martial following the player’s goal-scoring debut against Liverpool at Old Trafford on Saturday.
The France international, who became the most expensive teenager in world football history following his £36 million move from AS Monaco to United earlier this month, came off the bench to help secure a 3-1 win over the Red Devils’ Merseyside rivals.
It is, without a doubt, the perfect start for Martial.
“When you make a goal like Anthony you cannot wish for more,” Van Gaal said. “He has been with us for three days and that is too short to judge his personality, but he has made a very good impression in first three days – that is why I selected him to be on the bench.
“The goal was marvelous and physically he showed he can play in the Premier League. It was also a good match for him to come on because Liverpool had to come out and we were ahead. He had a lot of space, so it was easier to bring him on. We know he can dribble, he has pace, but his finish was fantastic.
“When then there is a young man who is 19 years old and he scores a fantastic goal at the right moment, as a manager you can only be happy there. It was fantastic, I cannot deny that. But he is still 19 years old, he has to adapt to a new culture and the high rhythm of the Premier League.
“It shall give him a boost, but still we cannot expect from players of that age that they have the consistency. You cannot ask that. You can ask that from Bastian Schweinsteiger and Michael Carrick but not for players of 19, 20 and 21.”
Martial, 19, is now in contention to start United’s UEFA Champions League opener against PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday, with captain Wayne Rooney likely out due to a minor hamstring problem.
The Dutchman added: “I don’t think he (Rooney) should play against PSV.
“We don’t want to take any risks with our captain, but you never know. It is Saturday and we still have Sunday and Monday. It is a minor injury, but I don’t want to take risks and I believe he shall instead play against Southampton.”
However, if Van Gaal decides to start Marouane Fellaini, Martial will have to wait until the second half to make in impact against the reigning Dutch Eredivisie champions in midweek.