Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has played down some of the hype surrounding new man Anthony Martial. The 19-year-old has burst onto the scenes with 4 goals in 4 games for the club, equalling the amount scored by their previous No.9 Falcao – despite only playing just 225 minutes for United. However, despite his brilliant start, Van Gaal wants to protect his prize asset and resisted the temptation to lavish praise on the £36m forward after the match against Ipswich, where he scored with one of his only touches.
“That is not so difficult [for Martial to stay grounded] because he is a player who is very modest and he knows he can score because of his fellow players,” Van Gaal said.
“We made it two times very easy [for him] because we won the game and then the gaps are existing and then with his speed and his composure he can score.
“He did it also against Liverpool and now again. We are happy but still we have to keep our feet on the ground.”
Until Martial’s introduction, the spotlight was well and truly on debutant Andreas Pereira, who scored a wonderful free kick midway through the second half.
The Brazilian had impressed greatly on United’s pre-season tour but had failed to make a single first team start until Wednesday’s game. The 19-year-old had praise heaped on his shoulders by the manager, who singled out his versatility as one of his strong points.
“He can play all these positions [across the front],” Van Gaal said.
“And his competitors are Young, Depay, Mata, Herrera, Rooney, Fellaini and Lingard.”
“What is realistic is dependable on the level of the players. I put always the best player in the line-up when he is working for the team.”
[All quotes via Sky Sports]