This article was written by @marital11fan. Follow them on Instagram.
Anthony Martial was signed on deadline day of the 2015 summer transfer window for £36m. Questions were raised immediately. The media thought Louis van Gaal was crazy. So much money for such a young, unknown teenager. Having only enjoyed one good season with AS Monaco, why pay for him when there are so many alternatives?
12 days later: The media were silenced.
Martial drives into the box - against rivals Liverpool - hits a low shot past Mignolet; sending Martin Tyler and every United fan into meltdown.
Anthony Martial wore the Number 9 shirt that season. A shirt which has graced so many beautiful backs in the past; Berbatov, Andy Cole and Sir Bobby Charlton (don't mention Radamel). It seemed that Anthony was to follow in their footsteps, or in those of fellow countryman Thierry Henry. Martial continued scoring for the rest of the season, including a last minute winner in the FA Cup semi-final against Everton which caused me to cry with happiness.
Then Josè came.
Josè Mourinho is a fantastic tactician, leading Chelsea to a Premier League through a tactic labelled 'Park the Bus.' However, Mourinho is not akin to playing youth.
Zlatan Ibrahimović signed.
Undoubtedly, Zlatan is one of the best strikers to grace the beautiful game. Tall, strong and a clinical finisher: a typical number 9. And that is the number that the Swede got, number 9. A rumour mill soon followed, linking Anthony to Arsenal. Luckily, he stayed. Our Frenchman got the number 11.
As the season went on Martial played less than expected and, when he did, it was more often that not as a substitute. He scored a few important goals like an equaliser against Middlesborough and he played well in the Europa League in the famous 'Zlat-trick' game against St. Etienne.
Just a few months later, Ibrahimović got injured in a Europa League game and was out for 7 months. He was subsequently released.
Leaving a gap. A void. For someone…
…someone to wear the number 9.
That man should be Anthony Martial.
If he replicates his form of 15/16 he will be world class. He has scored more goals than any other Manchester United player since he joined and even got a goal for France. Martial is strong, quick and has an eye for goal. He and Romelu Lukaku (who is also very strong physically) will be an amazing duo, with Paul Pogba supplying the assists. All three are good friends. All three speak French as a first language. All three are physical and pacey. All three are going to be goal scoring buddies.
Anthony Martial should take the number 9 jersey and be not the new Thierry Henry, but THE Anthony Martial.
Follow @martial11fan on Instagram: