France Under-21 head coach Pierre Mankowski believes “innate talent” Anthony Martial can become a “great” ahead of the Monaco striker’s expected big-money move to Manchester United.
The French Football Federation on Monday revealed that the 19-year-old had been given permission to travel to England to seal a switch to Old Trafford ahead of Tuesday’s transfer deadline.
Martial had arrived at Clairefontaine to link up with the senior squad for the first time ahead of international friendlies with Portugal and Serbia this week.
Mankowski knows all about the teenager’s ability, having worked with him at youth international level, and is in no doubt United will be getting a player with great potential if the move goes through.
“He [Martial] is a talent,” said Mankowski. “When he takes the ball, he is unstoppable. But he is still young. He has a lot of things to work on. But since he has this innate talent, it means he has a bright future.
“It’s up to him to prove with the senior national team and with his new club. He has everything to become a great player. But he needs to do everything every day to be at the top level.”
“Am I surprised? Yes and no. I have been thinking for a long time – with the games he has played – that he will reach another level. I don’t know if it’s too soon but it is the right moment. Didier Deschamps [France’s coach] thinks it is. Again, it’s great for him.”
A statement from the French Football Federation read: “Anthony Martial arrived on Monday at 11:00 at the gathering of the France team at Clairefontaine. He requested permission from Didier Deschamps to travel to England to sign a contract with Manchester United.
“Given the exceptional circumstances, the coach has acceded to the request of the player. Anthony Martial left Clairefontaine on Monday at 12:00. He will return on Tuesday morning.”
Martial – who was a reported target for Tottenham earlier this year – agreed a new four-year contract at the Stade Louis II in June.