The Frenchman clocked a top speed of 22mph against Newcastle United according to EA Sports’ Player Performance Index and finishes atop the list ahead of Jeffrey Schlupp (who spent time on trial at Man United previously), Kyle Walker, Divock Origi and Paul Dummett.
Without question, Martial’s pace is one of his biggest assets as a player and one of the reasons he is so hard for defenders to stop. Combined with his confidence, Martial uses his pace in such a way that makes it difficult for defenders to commit and tackle him – he’s the type of player who United don’t have in abundance any more which makes him all the more important.
That’s not to say Martial is just about pace because it would be doing a disservice to the rest of his game which is extremely rounded. He’s got pace in abundance, is brilliant with the ball at his feet and most importantly has the confidence to make the most of it.
It’s a key difference between, for example, Martial and Memphis right now. Memphis has all the same attributes as his French team-mate but doesn’t have the confidence right now to make the most of it on the pitch in the same way he did at PSV Eindhoven before he moved. Hopefully that will come with time.
Everybody had really high hopes for Martial when we signed from him AS Monaco but few could have expected him to become an integral part of our first-team so quickly. I can’t wait to see how much better he can get as time goes on because the early indications are that he does have everything needed to grow into a world beater.