Anthony Martial has admitted he was concerned about the intensity of football in England ahead of his summer move to Manchester United.
Eyebrows were raised when Man United decided to pay Monaco an initial £36m for the relatively unknown Martial last year.
However, Martial hasn’t looked back since a spectacular debut goal against Liverpool, scoring 12 goals in all competitions for Louis van Gaal’s side this term. The Frenchman admitted he was initially worried about moving to the Premier League.
“At the start I was scared because I had heard a lot about the intensity of the English game,” Martial said.
“But I realised during the matches that I was able to keep up, and I was really very happy about that because as a youngster I struggled to finish games, at the age of 17 they said I needed to work on my endurance.
When asked if he was more afraid of the intensity of the tackles within English football, Martial replied: “No the intensity, the tackles you need to know how to avoid them and not injure yourself. But I love the English game, it was really everything I wanted.”
It is easy to forget that Martial is just 20 years old, such has been the way he has established himself in the squad over the course of the campaign.
He plays with an intelligence and knowhow which belies his years and there are high hopes for him moving forward. Martial, although now accustomed to the physicality of life in England, will be looking to avoid any significant injuries that could potentially hamper his development.