Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp has made a bold claim ahead of Manchester United's clash against Arsenal on Sunday (4 October). The former midfielder- turned TV pundit has claimed that Anthony Martial is the best 19-year-old footballer he has seen since Lionel Messi made his breakthrough with Barcelona.
The French forward moved to United this summer from AS Monaco in a deal worth a potential £57m ($86.5m). Initially it was feared that it was a massive risk taken by Louis van Gaal to fork out such a huge amount for a player who had made just 52 appearances in Ligue 1. Martial, however, has cleared initial doubts and made a brilliant start in the Premier League, which has seen him already score four goals in five appearances in all competitions.
Redknapp revealed that all it took was 90 minutes of Champions League football for him to be impressed with Martial and was confident that he has all the qualities necessary to be a future great. Louis van Gaal has also showered praise on the youngster, who has taken to the Premier League quite well.
"I watched Anthony Martial for 90 minutes in the Champions League and the only 19-year-old I've seen better at that age was Lionel Messi," Redknapp is quoted as saying on Sky Sports.
"I played against Wayne Rooney when he made his debut but this boy has so much intelligence. He knows when to pass, when to cross it, when to dribble and when to shoot. He goes past people like they're not there."
"Everything he does, there is a reason behind it. It's like he's been here before - certain players have this, you can't put your finger on what it is, but it's just a quality. I love watching him play. He's going to be a superstar," the former Reds midfielder added.