OpinionPaul McGrath

Martial can live up to the tag of the 'next Thierry Henry'

Anthony Martial
Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial was hailed as ‘the next Thierry Henry’ when Manchester United splashed out a huge fee to sign him on transfer deadline day – and he looked every inch the next superstar in waiting at Old Trafford last night.

What a goal the kid scored on his debut and to do it in the biggest game of the all in English football made it something very special.

The composure Martial showed as he raced in on goal was something else and the finish at the end suggested he might just develop into a great player for United.

We all know they paid over the odds to sign him, but that one moment of magic confirmed that he is a player with huge potential and he ensured United got a deserved win.

Liverpool were pretty pathetic last night in my view and United blew them away once they turned up the heat in the second half.

Christian Benteke’s goal aside, I didn’t really know what Liverpool were trying to do at Old Trafford and they got precisely what they deserved in the end - which was nothing.

This was a massive win for United and a much needed three points in a week when there have been some rumblings of discontent coming out of Louis van Gaal’s dressing room.

On a day when Wayne Rooney was out, they could have had a difficult afternoon against Liverpool, but they got the job done and full deserved their win.

Now they can turn their attentions to the Champions League and all eyes will be on young Martial again to see what he can do in his next United performance.

After yesterday’s excitement, United have to turn their attention to getting back to being where their supporters expect them to be – somewhere near the summit of European football.

And Lady Luck has been with them, for not only did they get a more than favourable group of PSV Eindhoven, CSKA Moscow and Wolfsburg, but they even got the most difficult game of the six – PSV away – first up on Tuesday.

I mean, if United can get a draw on Tuesday, they would already have a foot in the last 16 for next spring.

It’ll be a big night for manager Louis van Gaal going back to his home country.

But a bigger one for the Red Devils’ young attacker, Memphis Depay, as he heads back to the club whose colours he wore as recently as last May.

Through my career I was lucky to go back to my previous clubs and get a very good reception.

However I did hear other players get the bird on their return to former grounds.

It can be very off-putting when you hope the fans of a club you did your best for might just have a bit of respect for you. I don’t think it will happen on Tuesday.

They may have missed out on Europea action for a season, but I expect Manchester United to return with a bang on Tuesday night.