Anthony Martial better than a young Cristiano Ronaldo? Just ask his management company

The Manchester United winger's representatives are being mocked after comparison to the likes of Beckham, Giggs and Ronaldo

Manchester United's Anthony Martial celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Watford, at Old Trafford, in Manchester, England, Saturday March 30, 2019. (Martin Rickett/PA via AP)
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Anthony Martial is a decent player, of that there is little doubt.

In fact, most Premier League teams would have the Manchester United winger in their squad if the opportunity presented itself, and many of Europe's top clubs would take him as well, if the price was right.

But is he among Europe's elite players? No. Is he among Manchester United's best players? Not consistently, no.

Ask his management company USFA, however, and you will receive a very different perception of their client to the majority of the football world.

So what has USFA management said?

It has said an awful lot without actually using many words. Just take a look at the following Instagram post...

As you can see, it compared Martial's United goalscoring record with that of club legends David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and, remarkably, Cristiano Ronaldo during their first four seasons at Old Trafford.

Accompanying the image is the caption "La critique est facile, la vérité sur le terrain", which translates to "criticising is easy, the truth is on the pitch".

What is the truth on the pitch?

To put it simply, Martial's contribution has been nothing like that of the aforementioned club legends.

For a start, Beckham and Giggs played as more conventional wide midfielders in contrast to Martial's station further up the pitch. Then there is the consideration that those two were also far more team-orientated, with a stronger work ethic and made an impact in many areas of the pitch.


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But Martial's goal record is better than Ronaldo's, right?

In this instance, yes. Martial has averaged a goal every 3.6 matches. Giggs's ratio was one every five matches, while Ronaldo notched one every 3.8 matches during his first four seasons.

But look how Ronaldo then exploded into a goalscoring machine for United and is now past 600 career goals. Is the same about to happen to Martial? Unlikely.

In his defence, the Frenchman, 23, is playing in a mediocre United side, whereas the likes of Beckham, Giggs and Ronaldo were in title-winning teams.

Why is Martial's management company on the defensive?

Because their client has come in for fierce criticism in recent weeks, not least after he was caught on camera during the warm-up before the recent Chelsea home match doing absolutely nothing while his teammates got into their stride.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer publicly defended the player, who has scored only three times since December, saying: “Anthony’s got goals in him, it’s up to us to move forward and get that into him again. I’m sure we’ll see him scoring goals again in the future.”

However, many fans are frustrated with Martial, who cost £36 million (Dh172.7m) from Monaco in 2015 in a deal which could rise to £58m. His form has constantly blown hot and cold, with this season being a prime example.

He netted six goals in seven games during a stretch in October and November and subsequently signed a new contract in January, keeping him at the club until 2024. Then his form went missing again.

Will United keep him this summer?

Having signed the new contract, yes. But who would pay what United would value him at anyway? Martial has the potential to be one of the top players in Europe, but, at 23, he can't keep relying on the "potential" tag for much longer.


25 players available on a free transfer this summer