Anthony Martial Can Reach Cristiano Ronaldo's Level, Says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 09: Anthony Martial of Manchester United in action during the Premier League match between Fulham FC and Manchester United at Craven Cottage on February 9, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)
Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Anthony Martial has the tools to reach similar heights to Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Martial contributed a goal and an assist in the Red Devils' 3-0 win over Fulham on Saturday, and his impressive solo strike drew comparisons to a goal Ronaldo scored for United against the Cottagers in 2007 from former team-mate Gary Neville on commentary.

Per the Press Association's Simon Peach (h/t MailOnline), Solskjaer, who was playing in his final season for United at the time, said: 

"Yes, it was towards the end of the game, and we played a very poor game and Cristiano scored it. He [Martial] does have similarities, of course. If he wants to be at Cristiano's level, Anthony knows what he has to do. It's up to him. He has the talent."

Martial slipped in Paul Pogba for United's 14th-minute opener, and he found the net himself nine minutes later.

After picking up the ball in his own half and launching a quick counter-attack, Martial evaded challenges from Denis Odoi and Maxime Le Marchand before tucking home past Sergio Rico.

United supporters were also quick to draw comparisons with Ronaldo's effort:

With the goal and the assist, Martial reached a milestone for United quicker than the Portuguese talisman had:

Since joining the club, the Frenchman has had to ply his trade under Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho, who did little to encourage attacking football.

"I am glad he is in my team," Solskjaer added. "He has contributed to so many chances, so many goals. He is a Manchester United player. He excites the crowd. He excites the manager. He excites his team-mates. And he is a great character around the place."

Unlike his predecessors, Solskjaer has created an environment in which Martial and United's other forward players can thrive.

If not for Lionel Messi, Ronaldo's claim to be considered the best player in the world over the last decade would have been undisputed, so emulating him is beyond the reach of most.

Whether Martial does or not, he still has world-class potential in his own right, as his showing against Fulham reminded us.

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