Martial better than expected, admits Neville

The former England international believes the France striker has exceeded expectations but doubted his ability to become a prolific goalscorer


Anthony Martial has impressed former Manchester United defender Gary Neville with his goal-scoring impact following his transfer from Monaco.

The 19-year-old moved to Old Trafford for an initial sum of £36 million and added to his debut strike against Liverpool last weekend by netting a double in United’s 3-2 win over Southampton on Sunday.

His early performances have impressed Neville, who admitted he was sceptical over whether the Frenchman had the potential to become a clinical finisher.

Speaking to Sky Sports, the former United defender said: “Could he step up from being a 15 [goals] in 70 [appearances] man to a one in two man? Can he get to that level? Difficult.

“I never thought he’d even be close to that but he’s shown in the first couple of weeks he’s got the composure to score goals.

“I wouldn’t have imagined that he would have had the composure that he’s had, because his goal-scoring record before he came to Manchester United was 15 goals in 70 games, which doesn’t suggest he’s got that level of composure.”

Neville added that Martial has made a statement by hitting the ground running despite the question marks over his signing.

“There’s huge pressure on him, he’ll be aware of that – the expectation, the price tag,” the 40-year-old said.

“To be redundant in the game for 30 minutes and then show that composure and class at that moment says a lot about him. He’s made a big impression on all of us.”

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