Football News

Berbatov backs Martial to “become one of the best” at Man Utd

By Ben Green

Published: 18:34, 5 August 2019

Former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov believes Anthony Martial possesses all the attributes to become one of the game’s “best” strikers.

Martial, 23, joined the Red Devils from Monaco in 2015, where he netted 17 goals across all competitions during his maiden campaign, but the Frenchman is yet to attain a similar record in the three seasons that have followed.

Can Martial “become one of the best”? Five things to know…

  • Man Utd pulled out all the stops to acquire Martial from Monaco four years ago.
  • The club made him the world’s most expensive teenage footballer when they signed him.
  • Martial dazzled in his debut season, notching 17 goals and nine assists.
  • His failure to match that return has many believing Man Utd aren’t getting the best out of him.
  • However, Berbatov believes the forward can yet realise his lofty potential and “become one of the best”.

Despite this, Berbatov, who netted 56 goals in 149 appearances for Man Utd, has tipped the French forward to reach Europe’s top bracket of elite strikers, though his success will be contingent on whether he has the mental fortitude to develop accordingly.

The 38-year-old told Express Sport: “I am slightly biased, but I think Martial can become one of the best, best strikers.

“It depends on whether he has the attitude, the fighting spirit, but he is so good I think he can become one of the best.

“He has often played two to three games then out for two to three games.

“Two to three games on the bench then two to three games back in the team.

“And then United fans ask, why isn’t he consistent?

“It depends on him, himself, but Martial has to stay at United. He can be a really great player for them.”

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Solskjaer’s “new Anthony Martial” promise

Berbatov’s comments have echoed the views of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who recently gave a glowing review of his mercurial forward’s promise, assuring Man Utd fans that they can expect a new-look Martial for 2019/20.

He said last month: “Anthony can be a world-class forward.

“I think if you followed Anthony in the last few seasons, the way he’s come back to pre-season now, and you can ask Nemanja [Matic] as well from seeing him in training, his attitude is absolutely spot on.

“There’s been a couple of instances where you can see a new Anthony in the way that he works for the team. He has always got the quality, talent, he’s going to score goals and his work rate is improving.

“I expect him and Marcus to be even better than last season. Anthony had a top season when he came, his first season top scorer, then he’s had a couple of seasons where he’s not hit that amount of goals and quality so I’m sure we will see a better Anthony this year.”