Monday, June 25, 2018

Saha hails Martial as ‘next Henry’

Transfer fee putting tremendous pressure on Martial

Former Manchester United forward Louis Saha has backed Anthony Martial to become a huge hit at Old Trafford.

Martial, 19, joined United from Monaco for an initial fee of £36 million–potentially rising to £58 million–on deadline day, with many football pundits calling into question the fee the Red Devils paid for the teenager.

However, Saha is expecting big things from Martial, likening the player to French legend Thierry Henry.

“He’s got that speed, that power, he’s got that youth in him so he’ll surprise a lot of defenders because they don’t know him,” said Saha.

“It’s a great asset for Manchester United and that’s what they needed because up front they lack speed sometimes. In France we call him the next Thierry Henry because he can play left or right, he’s got a great ability with the ball, he can take on three, four players with ease, there is no problem. At the same time, the new generation have no fear.

“He’s got such an ability that he can win trophies for Manchester United I believe that, but I don’t want to put too much pressure on him.”

Martial, who won his first international cap for France at the senior level in Les Bleus’ 1-0 win over Portugal earlier this week, has tallied one goal and two assists in eight appearances in all competitions for club and country this season.

Hodgson: Welbeck not guaranteed Euro place

England national team manager Roy Hodgson has hinted Danny Welbeck’s persistent injury woes could keep him out of the Three Lions’ Euro 2016 squad.

Welbeck, who has been sidelined since May with a knee injury, has suffered another setback after undergoing surgery, and will be out for the foreseeable future, much to the dismay of Hodgson.

“Welbeck bothers me now,” Hodgson said. “He has already been out for me since March so that’s over four months already. Now I hear it’s going to be another six months, so I can only hope that Danny recovers a bit quicker and hits the ground running.

“I’ve got to make certain there are a few Jamie Vardys and Harry Kanes and Theo Walcotts because we can’t keep going around talking about the ones who aren’t there.

“What we’re trying to develop is a bigger pool of players, to get that up to 30, where we can say: ‘Whatever happens, as long as we can get 23 of this 30, we’ll be OK.’ Then you would have to be very unlucky if two or three in the same position went down. We don’t need more than 30.”

Welbeck bagged four goals and three assists in 25 English Premier League appearances, including 18 starts, for the Gunners last term.


Shawn Etemadi



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