Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed Anthony Martial to emulate Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United.
The 23-year-old French forward registered his ninth Premier League goal of the season in United’s comfortable 3-0 win away to Fulham on Saturday.
Martial’s form this season. Four things to know…
- Martial has featured 27 times for United this season: only David de Gea (31), Romelu Lukaku (31), Paul Pogba (30), Marcus Rashford (30) and Nemanja Matic (30) have featured more.
- He’s currently the Red Devils second-highest scorer (11) behind compatriot Pogba (13).
- Martial’s goal against Fulham was his first in the Premier League since Solskjaer’s opening game against Cardiff City in December.
- His performances this season earned him a new contract which keeps him at Old Trafford until 2024.
Martial’s goal, which doubled the Red Devils’ lead at Craven Cottage following Paul Pogba’s opener, was his third under interim boss Solskjaer.
His strike drew comparisons with an effort at the same ground by United legend Cristiano Ronaldo in 2007.
United, on that February day, came from a goal behind to run out 2-1 victors with Ronaldo bagging the winner two minutes from time.
Solskjaer, part of the United squad that would go on to win the championship that season, can see why many have likened the two goals and feels Martial has the talent to go on and make a similar impact to Ronaldo at Old Trafford.
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“Yes, it was towards the end of the game and we played a very poor game and Cristiano scored it,” he reminisced.
“He [Martial] does have similarities, of course. If he wants to be at Cristiano’s level, Anthony knows what he has to do. It’s up to him. He has the talent.
“I am glad he is in my team. He has contributed to so many chances, so many goals.
“He is a Manchester United player. He excites the crowd. He excites the manager. He excites his team-mates. And he is a great character around the place.”
Last month, the France international penned a new contract keeping him at Old Trafford until 2024. It was a move that was unanimously greeted by United supporters.
Martial joined the 20-time English champions in 2015 from AS Monaco for a reported £36m which then made him the most expensive teenage footballer in history.
He’s since gone on to play under three United managers and would subsequently register 47 goals and created a further 28 across 163 matches in all competitions.
United and Martial now go into a big week, with Solskjaer’s men face Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League at home before visiting Chelsea in the FA Cup.