Patrice Evra was impressed with Anthony Martial’s performance on his first start for France against Denmark on Sunday night - and the defender revealed his message of advice for the young Manchester United striker.
France won the international friendly 2-1 and Martial made an immediate impact, setting up Olivier Giroud for the opening goal inside the first five minutes.
Evra, who will always be a United fan after his eight-year spell at Old Trafford, was taken aback by the teenager’s directness and told him after the final whistle to look after his body in order to avoid losing his invaluable acceleration.
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“It’s the first time I’ve seen him in a match,” Evra was quoted as saying by Goal. “He was impressive. I told him at the end of the game: ‘I hope that you hydrate well and stretch well. Keep accelerating like that.’
“Every time he touched the ball, he drove and he created something.”
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Martial flourishing for club and country
Martial also set up a goal for Karim Benzema - courtesy of this delightful little flick - after coming on as a second-half substitute against Armenia three days earlier.
Few people outside of France were aware of Martial prior to the start of September, when Manchester United paid £36 million to AS Monaco for the 19-year-old, but the striker is now a first-team regular for both club and country just over a month later.
Martial hailed by Deschamps
Speaking after the win over Denmark, France head coach Didier Deschamps was quoted by Manchester United’s official website as saying: "I think Martial is best suited as a lone striker. Even though he also played on the left flank in Monaco.
“Anthony has the capacity to play in both roles. He has quality with his pace and his ability to go past the opponent and that brings a bit of variety to our game.
"It was a good performance from him, a very interesting one with a lot of play in terms of movement and take-ons [beating opponents]. He still has a few things to improve upon but he created very interesting situations for us."
Everton up next
Everything he touches at the moment, it seems, is turning to gold for Martial - and he will be hoping to continue his rich vein of form against Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon.
Manchester United fans: is Anthony Martial already your best attacking player? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!