Van Gaal tries to calm the hype around Anthony Martial
Anthony Martial dominated the back page headlines of every newspaper on Sunday morning, but Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has asked for the expectations around his £36m wonder kid to be damped down.
The world's media were quick to hail Martial's sensational goal in United's 3-1 win against Liverpool on Saturday and the youngster signed from Monaco on transfer deadline day may now make his first start in Tuesday's Champions League clash against PSV Eindhoven.
Yet the United boss is eager to do his bit to calm the hype around Martial, as he offered up these comments to the media.
“We bought him because of his talent, but you must show your talent at the right time on the pitch, and Martial did that in his first match," stated Van Gaal.
“But we’ll see if he can be consistent and do it in every game. You have an average from strikers of around 50 or 60 per cent every match.
"His average at Monaco was lower, because his finishing was not so good. But on this occasion it was 100 per cent.
“That’s why I am saying these things - that he is 19, that he has to adapt, that we have bought him for the future, that he is for my successor,” said van Gaal.
“These are all signals from me that we have to protect him. You cannot expect from players of 19, 20 or 21, the same consistency of a Bastian Schweinsteiger or Michael Carrick. I hope by my declarations it shall be the case that people don't expect so much."
Van Gaal went on to insist his team need to improve on their display against Liverpool, as he hinted all of his players can move up another level or two.
“As a manager you are never satisfied,” added Van Gaal. “The fans are very satisfied, very pleased with David De Gea, for example, but I have criticism for him and I’m sorry I have to say that. That goes for all the players.
“I want to improve every individual, and because of that you also improve the team performance. It means a lot of meetings and a lot of training sessions.
“I have heard the words ‘boring’ and ‘too rigid’, but it is like that. I think every player has to be very happy with his profession because he makes a living from his hobby. Then you have to show your professional attitude.”