The 19-year-old signed for Man United on transfer deadline day from Monaco and has got off to a flier in a red shirt, scoring four goals in as many games.
The move made Martial the most expensive teenager in world football but it meant he left his home country and brought his wife and child with him. Still a youngster, one of the hardest parts about his transfer will be adapting to life in a new country, something van Gaal attested to.
Speaking ahead of United’s game against Sunderland, the manager said: “He’s still living in a hotel.
“He’s still in the first phase of his adaptation. Also for his wife and kid because that’s also important.
“We have to wait and see when he settles into a house and apartment and then his wife will be alone with his kid. He will be coming back and he will have to do shopping or something.”
It has been less than a fortnight since Martial made his debut for United, when he came off the bench to score a stunning solo goal against Liverpool. Many players in the past have struggled to adapt to Manchester and the different lifestyle it brings and van Gaal is hoping that his new signing can cope.
He added: “Now it is still living in a hotel, coming to the training sessions, eating with the players and training and preparing for matches. That is more or less the same rhythm he had in Monaco except that he’s living in the hotel and that’s a protected area. The big step will be when he settles himself and his wife in his new environment.”
Whether or not he is enjoying the city and his new life, Martial has already made a huge impact at United. He has put in some eye-catching performances and is proving to be a clinical finisher.
However, supporters of the club will be wary, given what they have seen in the past. Angel Di Maria said the Manchester lifestyle was one of the reasons he chose to leave United, despite getting off to a brilliant start at Old Trafford as well. United fans will hope that the same doesn’t happen to Martial. The former Monaco man is still young and, given his early displays, everyone associated with the club will hope he is here to stay.