Manchester United new boy, Anthony Martial has been likened to former France and Arsenal player Thierry Henry by the youngster’s former youth coach Mamadou Niakite. As per the Daily Mail, Niakite claims Martial shares certain similarities with the Gunners’ legend.
Martial, 19, joined Manchester United on deadline day from French Ligue 1 club Monaco in a reported £36m, making him the most expensive teenage footballer in the world, and the third costliest player to join the club behind Angel Di Maria who signed for the Red Devils for £59.7m and Juan Mata.
Lots of eyebrows have been raised as regards the staggering price at which Martial [a former Lyon youth player] was bought, Niakite – who played with Henry as a child and also coached Martial – believes there are some similarities between the youngster and Henry.
“Anthony arrived here at the age of six and we could see that he had already surpassed the other kids in terms of his technical skill and speed,” Niakite said.
“He shared Thierry’s qualities. He was incredibly determined. As is the case with every great player, he had this real hate of losing, almost a fear. He was a leader on the pitch. Even at six years old, he couldn’t handle losing. It would eat him up, he’d be angry and become isolated.
“Thierry was the same. He has that exact trait. It is the same behaviour, the same speed, the same quality and the same will to win. They would both be very demanding of themselves and their team-mates, both in training and games,
“If a training session lasted an hour, he would ask for more afterwards. As soon as he left training, he’d then be on the streets playing with his mates. He was incredibly precocious, his technical and physical skill was remarkable.”
Martial arrives at Old Trafford, having impressed brilliantly for Monaco last term. The France international was a thorn in the flesh of Arsenal defenders, as the Ligue 1 side defeated the Gunners in their round of 16 Champions League clash last season, and he also ended the season as Monaco’s highest goal scorer with nine.
United offloaded Javier Hernandez to Bayer Leverkusen and also sent Adnan Januzaj on loan to Borussia Dortmund on the same day Martial joined Louis van Gaal’s side. Therefore, the Frenchman is expected to bring in the goals for the Red Devils, and he could have the chance to do that when United face Liverpool in their next Premier League game after the international break.