Rio Ferdinand has noted that Anthony Martial can rival the very best on the planet at Manchester United.
The Frenchman endured a difficult opening campaign under Jose Mourinho, starting less than half of Man United’s Premier League games.
But he has enjoyed a sensational return to form this time around, claiming seven goals and five assists in all competitions.
And Ferdinand, speaking on BT Sport, has noted that Martial’s teammates believe he can be one of the best in the world with the right treatment.
“I’ve been up there a few times and spoken to a few of the lads in the squad,” he said.
“Every single one of them says the same thing: ‘he could be what he wants to be, in terms of talent, he will rival anyone on the planet’.
“Attitude? I think it’s feeling the love.
“I think he needs an arm around him, maybe be the guy that needs a real soft arm around the shoulder and a bit of cotton wool. I think he’s getting that at the moment.”
Martial’s time at Old Trafford has indeed shed light on an important lesson all managers should take note of: the finer the jewell, the more care it ought to receive.
The natural talent at the youngster’s disposal is obvious. His capacity for skipping past opponents eclipses most players in world, and even fewer can replicate the same thrill – that collective intake of breath – evinced by Martial when he enters full flow on the ball.
He is a precious player, but also somebody whose head can drop if he doesn’t feel understood or appreciated by his manager and those around him.
That, I guess, was the problem last season, but Martial, over the summer, appears to have developed a strong bond with Mourinho and the result has been nothing short of scintillating.