Football

Michael Carrick had no idea who Anthony Martial was before United move

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Manchester United's 19-year-old summer signing Anthony Martial made a blistering debut on Saturday against Liverpool in front of Old Trafford, scoring a superb solo effort in the latter stages of the crunch match.

The French teenager came on as a substitute for Juan Mata in the 64th minute and scored within 21 minutes, dancing his way past Martin Skrtel before slotting emphatically past Simon Mignolet.

The goal has turned Martial into an instant favourite and superstar amongst United fans, many of whom hadn't heard of the £36 million signing before his arrival, with even Michael Carrick admitting, as per the Guardian, that he knew virtually nothing about the striker before his move.

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Commenting on the teenager after the match, the Englishman said: "I have to be totally honest, I didn’t know an awful lot – like many – but I do now.

"We haven’t really trained this week too much; by the time the lads have come back from internationals. We haven’t seen an awful lot of him.

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"It’s a lot of money, of course it is. I suppose time will tell, won’t it?"

The French striker's signing made him the world’s most expensive teenager, and with additional costs the fee could comfortably rise to a shocking £58 million - just shy of the £59.7 million British transfer record held by Angel Di Maria's move to the Red Devils.

Fans and club members, though, will be hopeful that the Frenchman doesn't suffer the same fate as Di Maria.

Veteran Carrick continued with some encouraging words for the young striker.

He said: "To start like that you can’t really ask for more. It doesn’t get any better than that, does it?

"Coming in and coming on and scoring against Liverpool like that. He has done well to get in that position and I thought the finish was terrific, how he just slotted it home.

"He was so calm and composed and you can’t ask for a better start. He is off the mark now. He has announced himself."

Martial's first 25 minutes in a United shirt was explosive, and based on this performance Louis van Gaal will be optimistic that he has actually found a footballer who, in time, can exemplify United's identity, just as Wayne Rooney used to - giving youth a chance.

Van Gaal had previously insisted that Martial would be eased into the side, but following reports that Rooney has been ruled out of United's Champions League opener against PSV on Tuesday, the young Frenchman might be handed his first start earlier than expected, presenting an ideal opportunity to prove his goal wasn't merely a one off.

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Topics:
Premier League
Manchester United
Football

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