Should Anthony Martial make his Manchester United debut v Liverpool?

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Football News

Nineteen-year-old forward Anthony Martial is the talk of the town in Manchester at the moment.

His deadline-day arrival from AS Monaco was one the biggest deals of the 2015 summer window, and speculation as to whether it was the right move for United has arisen in both Monaco and Manchester.

Martial has become the new number 9 for a new-look Manchester United team. Memphis Depay now wears the coveted number 7, and Wayne Rooney stands as the only member of the team who has been a first team player since 2010.


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There are theories that manager Louis van Gaal has been installed to steady the ship and build a squad with room to grow before stepping aside for a more long-term managerial solution. 

Van Gaal has done just that and spent nearly a quarter of a billion pounds on talent, with every player brought in under the age of 28, apart from Bastian Schweinsteiger.

The pace in Manchester United's attack has looked non-existent at times this season, and replacements were definitely needed after Adnan Januzaj joined Dortmund on a season-long loan.

Too Many Long Balls

Because of the absence of pace in the attack at Old Trafford, there have been far too many times where a defender or a deep midfielder has opted for a high-arching, indirect pass up the field.

The lack of height in United's attack means that long balls are not so effective. The passing style the Red Devils have employed in the past appears for patches during games, but it is often sideways passes rather than direct football. 

Memphis Depay's direct style stands out amongst the United players, but he is often confined by the tactics into a standard wide role.

Wayne Rooney has been the target of many of the long balls so far, but he has not been at his best so far in the Premier League and has been letting his team down in attack.

A New Front Three?

While he is the new number nine, Anthony Martial is not likely to start the majority of games this season. He is a signing for the future, and will undoubtedly earn his first team place in time. But for such a large fee, fans will be expecting that emergence to come sooner rather than later.

The Frenchman is capable of playing anywhere along the front line, due to his ability to cut inside and make runs through the middle of the pitch. This style of attack is not so unlike the play style of Memphis Depay, which could be detrimental going forward.

Depay and Martial playing in a front three with Wayne Rooney could work over time. Rooney's composure seems like it is waning after he has missed multiple chances so far this season. One thing that remains solid is his passing ability, which could be hugely beneficial for his young compatriots. 

Rooney would be playing in Depay and Martial from a central position, dropping deep if necessary in order to supply the other forwards. With Martial and Depay making inside runs, goals could be created by the bunch. Creating chances, of course, becomes easier when you include the passing ability of Schweinsteiger and Juan Mata. 

Young Signings Need Time To Settle

Just as with any young player coming from elsewhere in Europe, Martial will need match experience to help him adjust to the style of the Premier League. 

Depay is going through that adjustment right now, and is receiving the first team football he needs to become accustomed to how Premier League defenders play. 

Martial needs to remain calm in his development as well, because the goals will not come in bunches from the very beginning for the Frenchman. 

Liverpool are Manchester United's next opponent, which is a challenge for Martial should it be his first start.

First impressions are no small thing in the Premier League, and if Martial plays well in one of the oldest English rivalries he could immediately get into the good books at Old Trafford.

Such an enormous transfer fee means that he may well get thrown into the deep end after the international break is over.

Liverpool's defence have not faced many powerful attacks thus far, but the one attacking force they had to deal with proved far too much for them, as they lost to West Ham 3-0.

Martial could take note of Manuel Lanzini's direct and brave style when attempting to dissect the Reds' back line.

Lanzini caused so many problems when he harried Dejan Lovren and Martin Skrtel, and Martial's combination of pace and dribbling ability could be too much for the Merseyside warriors to deal with.

Does Anthony Martial deserve to start a huge match like Manchester United v Liverpool? 

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