We posed several questions to Monaco fans at asmfoot.fr to gain insight into United’s new signing Anthony Martial.
Streford End Arising: Does Martial have the potential to become one of the best players in the world?
Michaël: He is all about potential. He is one of the most promising player in the world at this age, known by a lot of scouts for a number of years. I think he can do great things, especially in the Premier League. He is young, can improve and seems to have a good environment around him.
Naroud_Monaco: He has a potential, of course. In the 5 Best European Leagues, last year, he was the better striker for his age, with the best stats, etc. They are not amazing, 9 goals, but he is very young. You don’t have a lot of 19-years-old players who can be the best offensive element of a team as Monaco. He is one of the most promising French players… He is young but he has some experience, especially with the national youth teams (~ 50 matches / 25 goals). But, it’s difficult to say now if he could become one of the best players in the world, you know… His potential is interesting. Enough to be follow by a lot of scouts (Juventus, etc).
Shaba26: He is young, has big potential and could become one of the best. But he has to work a lot, the Premier League is a good championship for him, in which he can improve his level. In my opinion, and with what I know and seen of him, he is just a very promising player and can become a great player but not one of the best.
SEA: What has been his stand out performance for Monaco?
kjb972: He did not score in the matches against Arsenal and Juventus in Champions League, but I really liked his performances.
SamSam: That’s the problem. He just has a few major moments during a game.
Shannou06: None really, he’s always inconsistent.
Michaël: He finished last season greatly. He scored a lot of goals during the 10-15 games of the season and showed a lot of progress.
SEA: Is the comparison to Thierry Henry an accurate one?
Shannou06: No. Mainly because he’s black, French and comes from Monaco, that’s all I can find.
Michaël: Yes and no. Like said before, the comparison is easy because of his origins and because he’s from Monaco. Nevertheless, there are not a lot of forwards with such speed, power and technique. Henry and Martial have similar qualities, but the two also have a lot differences. Nevertheless, I can remember Martial’s first games at Monaco, and I thought immediately about Henry and when he started with Monaco in the 90’s when he was 17. At the same age, Henry was not a striker, and we couldn’t guess he’ll become such a great one. Martial can improve in front of the goalkeeper, so who knows.
Naroud_Monaco: Hmm… No. I don’t think so. The comparison is because of its origins (he grew up in the same city, etc.), his position and because he played in Monaco… It’s true, Henry was not a striker when he played in Monaco, so maybe Martial can improve his finishing for example, etc. He is young. And, he have speed, power and technique, etc.
I would say that Martial has more qualities to the Lyon school (more like a Benzema style or Lacazette, etc). They don’t have heading skills and a real spirit of striker (vista, etc)… But, they are very talented with their feet, with the ball. But, that can be productive… For example, in Lyon, the schema Lacazette/Fekir was amazing last year when they combine together, etc. I think Martial can be great with Rooney, for example. They can combine together with their techniques.
Henry was amazing and really complete. He had better heading abilities, finishing, etc. He was more of a real striker. Martial is better when he can combine with another guy in a axial position, I think. Or, when he has space in the left side…
SEA: Is he better on the left, right or through the middle?
Naroud_Monaco: As I said, he is not a decisive striker for the moment. He needs space. He is young. I prefer see him in the left side. On the right side, he was very bad. On the left side, he can use his right foot to attack the goal with his speed and skills. In a forward position, I prefer him with another player to combine with the ball. But, in a solo striker position, he is not amazing for the moment… But, left side or forward position but not in the right side.
Dark-ASM: His preferred position is through the middle, but he is very good at the left of the attack. For the French U19 team, he played on the left.
david86: He is better as second striker with a lot of freedom.
Nate: It depends. At Monaco he was probably better as a left winger because he’s not good enough to be the only striker on the field. With Van Persie or Falcao beside him, he would have been great. With Rooney, not sure.
SEA: What are his current strengths and weaknesses?
Michaël: He is very fast, powerful, and very comfortable with the ball. But he needs greater consistency, even during a game. He can also improve his heading ability (he’s already much better than last year) and in front of the goal keeper.
galuchon: He’s very fast, technical and an impact player. A lot of things look easy with him, he is very difficult to stop once he starts running with the ball. But he’s not efficient enough yet, he still misses a lot, he needs to play more simple at times and more with the team…
Strengths: He’s fast with the ball, dribbling, good running speed (acceleration) and technical skills (to eliminate an opponent in little space).
Weaknesses : Decision making (shoot too late, does not pass the ball at the right moments to his team mates etc).
SEA: What type of personality does he have?
Naroud_Monaco: Very discreet. There are many temptations in a place like Monaco… But he seems to be a serious young man.
Nate: He seems introverted, shy, however mature as he already has a child and a wife.
galuchon: He’s very quiet and also well educated, no scandal, follows the club and staff wishes. Looks like a family guy. He already got a kid even though he is young.
kjb972: He seems to be lazy, nonchalant and really nice almost innocent, like a teenager.
SEA: Are you disappointed to see him leave?
Naroud_Monaco: Yes we are because we didn’t have the time to really replace him. That was not planned. But, with 60-80M€, how could we be disappointed…?
kjb972: A little bit but Kurzawa was transferred for €30M and if Martial had left for €30M I would still be more disappointed to lose him than Martial.
Dark-ASM: Yes I am, but for the price of 50M€ +/- 30M€, it is a very good deal for us. But not for you!
SEA: Is there a possibility he could become a big money flop?
kjb972: I think so because he only is 19, and has never been consistently good during a whole season and I am afraid that Van Gaal could break his career. But despite all that I think that he is the French offensive player with the greatest potential. A lot more than Giroud, Griezmann, Benzema, Lacazette and Fekir. But I don’t think he is ready to be Manchester United’s striker.
Nate: Refer to first question. With a 50M€ +/- 30M€ transfer fee, he has to become one of the best players in the world. If he does not, he will obviously be a “big money flop”.
galuchon: Yes, because the fee is too big. So there’s a risk he cannot take the pressure of the Premier League and be part of a big club like Manchester United, especially with Van Gaal as a coach. Even in Monaco which is very quiet he took a long time to adapt, focus and be efficient. I am surprised you agreed to pay such a price for a guy who has everything to prove, even in Ligue 1 because he has never completed a full season yet.