Former Manchester United striker Louis Saha has talked up compatriot Anthony Martial, saying that the summer recruit from AS Monaco could follow in the footsteps of Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
Memphis Depay was being hyped as the next Ronaldo when he arrived from PSV Eindhoven, and was even handed the famous number seven shirt that the Portuguese wore with distinction at Old Trafford. However, the Dutchman has not lived up to the hype and has instead found himself battling for a place in the first team.
Recently, former France international Louis Saha suggested that yet another Manchester United youngster could be the next Ronaldo in the coming years. Saha said that if 20-year-old Anthony Martial developed as Ronaldo did, he could go on to become one of the best in the world.
“I hope so. I hope Martial can emulate what Ronaldo did at United,” Saha said to the International Business Times.
“Ronaldo came when he was 18 and had this little issue where he was not passing the ball. He had to learn and that took him time.
“When he clicked in his head, with the help of the manager, he became an amazing player and I hope that Martial will go in the same path. Martial has got the ability, strength, he is skillful and he is hungry to learn.”
The magic number could move from seven to nine
The weight of expectations on the player wearing the number seven shirt at Old Trafford is staggering. With legends like Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo having been the pride of Manchester during their respective careers at Old Trafford, Memphis Depay needs to lift his game to another level to match up to his predecessors.
Anthony Martial has become a permanent fixture up front for the Red Devils though, and is another young talent who could steal the spotlight at Manchester United. As an out-and-out striker, he could even bang in more goals than Ronaldo did as a winger. While Cristiano Ronaldo scored six goals in his first season at Manchester United, Anthony Martial has already scored nine goals so far in his debut season.
The Frenchman will, however, have to keep on improving and show the sort of exponential growth that the Real Madrid superstar showed in order to reach his level.