The France international became the most expensive teenager in the history of the game when the Red Devils parted with an initial £36 million to sign him from AS Monaco in the 2015 summer transfer window, and the now 20-year-old has not disappointed so far.
When asked about about a potential move to PSG in an interview with RTL (h/t ESPN), Martial insisted he has high hopes for United. “They [United] are not at the top of the top, but I hope that next year they will be,” he said.
According to Le 10 Sport (h/t Jamie Styles of the Daily Star) the Paris giants have been impressed by the efforts of Martial this term and are keen on bringing him back to Ligue 1. Those reports come after Tuttomercatoweb (h/t James Whaling of the Daily Mirror) said Juventus were looking at Martial as a replacement for Alvaro Morata should he leave the club.
As Oliver Holt of the Mail on Sunday noted, in what’s been a pretty disappointing season for the Red Devils, Martial has been a bright spot:
Consolations for United tonight? Martial's class. RAshford's too. Ends.— Oliver Holt (@OllieHolt22) March 17, 2016
While he’s been used primarily on the flanks by manager Louis van Gaal for much of this season, the forward has been electric. He can glide past opposition players with ease and has a scintillating surge of pace to take him clear. Additionally, when chances come his way, for a player so young, the United No. 9 is very composed.
It’s certainly been an impressive debut term on the whole. But speaking about his first season at the club in the aforementioned interview, Martial is adamant both he and the team can do even better next year:
I think I could have done better. There were some chances that I missed but I think next year it will be much better.
Now I work hard every day in training. What I want is to progress and to become a better player. Before I used to say, 'Well, I am a bit tired, so I won't work in overdrive,' but now, tired or not, I give everything in training to be ready for the match. …
I am happy with what I have done, even if I could have done better, but I hope that with Manchester United we are going to qualify for the Champions League for next season.
While United have toiled overall, the finger of blame could certainly not be pointed at Martial. Despite his tender years, the Frenchman has been a regular goalscorer in the Premier League for United.
As Squawka Football noted, only a couple of players in his age bracket have netted more across the continent:
Most goals by U-21's in Europe's top 5 leagues this season:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 22, 2016
It’s a season that will be key to the young man’s development, too. While many perceived his acquisition as a big risk last summer, there’s no denying he’s a player that’s set to go to the very summit of the game in the years to come, and that makes it extremely unlikely the Red Devils will cash in on him any time soon.
Not only is Martial a magnificent talent, but United aren’t blessed with a lot of options at centre-forward. Marcus Rashford has burst onto the scene lately but is still largely unproven, while Wayne Rooney is not the force he once was. It means this team is likely to be built around Martial in the years to come.
Should United fail to qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the next couple of seasons and the former Monaco man continues to improve, that’s when they may have an issue keeping him.
For the time being, though, Martial continues to showcase a mature head on his youthful shoulders, and that’s likely to ensure he remains with the Red Devils for a while yet.