It’s now just over two years since Manchester United stunned everyone by completing the signing of Anthony Martial from AS Monaco.
Very few United fans had even heard of the teenage winger when Louis van Gaal gave the green light for the club to spend an initial £36 million on his services.
However, Martial endeared himself to the club’s supporters by scoring against Liverpool after coming off the bench in his first appearance. It was the very definition of a dream debut.
Martial went on to score 17 goals in his first season at Old Trafford, confirming his status as one Europe’s most exciting young players in the process.
The Frenchman received the coveted Golden Boy award in 2015 and suddenly the ‘huge’ fee United forked out for his services looked like a relative bargain.
However, Martial experienced a difficult second season with the Red Devils, not helped by personal problems off the pitch.
Life under Jose Mourinho started inauspiciously for the France international when the Portuguese coach handed his No. 9 shirt to the club’s new signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic and he went on to score just eight goals in 42 appearances that season.
But following a summer off, Martial has been superb at the start of this season, scoring six goals in 14 matches prior to tonight’s Champions League clash against Benfica.
Berbatov sums up what it's like watching Martial
Ahead of kick-off, Dimitar Berbatov perfectly summed up what it’s like watching Martial as a Man Utd fan.
“The guy for me is Martial. I know him from Monaco - we used to play together - and I love watching how he plays,” the former United striker said on BT Sport.
“Now he has more confidence in his play, he can go past players easily because he’s so fast and so strong. His finishing has [also] improved since I was at Monaco.
“So, when he’s on the starting sheet, it’s always a joy for me because I know I’m going to see something special and not fall asleep!”
Martial had fans off their seats v Benfica
Martial had United fans off their seats again during the first half against Benfica.
It was his mazy dribble that led to United winning a penalty in the 15th minute.
The Frenchman, however, spurned the opportunity to score his seventh goal of the campaign when 18-year-old Mile Svilar saved his spot-kick.
But he was still United's brightest spark...
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