Louis van Gaal has revealed he convinced Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward to sign Anthony Martial after explaining that the French striker was the best player of his age group.
The veteran Dutch coach has asked supporters not to expect miracles from the teenager, who cost £36 million from AS Monaco, and feels the recently-capped France international is one for the future rather than the present.
But there will be significant pressure on Martial to hit the ground running at Old Trafford, despite his tender age, given the extraordinary amount of money Manchester United have paid for his services, combined with the club’s decision to hand him the coveted number nine shirt.
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Speaking about the transfer fee, which could rise to £58 million depending on what Martial achieves at Old Trafford, Van Gaal is quoted by the Guardian as saying: “There is a market and a market price and we cannot have any influence on that price.
“I said to Ed [Woodward, the executive vice-chairman] that he is the best of his age and we need a striker for the future. We could wait a year and pay another £10m. I imagine the fans think, ‘£50m, he has to score.’ No, he is 19 and he has to adapt.”
Big pressure on Martial's young shoulders
Van Gaal’s cautious words, however, are likely to fall on deaf ears at Old Trafford. Fans will be expecting goals from their new signing, starting against fierce rivals Liverpool on Saturday afternoon.
That Van Gaal has left himself with just two recognised strikers - presuming James Wilson completes his loan move away from Old Trafford in the coming days - has also heaped additional pressure on Martial.
If Wayne Rooney suffers an injury or is suspended, the onus will fall on the young and inexperienced Martial to provide the goals for Manchester United.
Manchester United fans: will Anthony Martial be a hit or a miss at Old Trafford? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!