Arsene Wenger has lauded Louis van Gaal's decision to sign Anthony Martial from AS Monaco ahead of Arsenal's clash against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday (28 February). The Red Devils signed the French striker on transfer deadline day for a fee of around £36m ($50m).
According to the Guardian, the actual fee for the striker could go up to £58.8m ($81.5m) following performance add-ons and club honours. The France international has been touted to be the next Thierry Henry and had attracted interest from Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City, before the Red Devils decided to take the gamble and sign him.
"He [Martial] is a player who can make an individual difference from anywhere. He can take a ball in the middle of the park, take it past two or three players and create differences. He has had a big impact at Manchester United and over a longer distance it will be a fantastic buy," Wenger said, as quoted by Goal.
The 20-year-old represented a gamble owing to his lack of experience at the highest level, but he has dispelled most of the fears with his performances in his debut season at Old Trafford. Martial made a blistering start to life in the Premier League with three goals in his first two games, but went off the boil as he struggled to adapt to the pace and intensity of the English top-flight.
The young striker has, however, rediscovered his form in recent weeks and put in some eye-catching performances during their win over Stoke City and their last gasp draw against Chelsea. He has scored two goals in his last three appearances and has received high praise from the manager.
Martial was entrusted with the task of leading the line following Wayne Rooney's injury, which could see the United skipper out for a lengthy period of time, but the former Monaco forward suffered a minor hamstring strain ahead of their second-leg 5-1 win over Midtjylland in the Europa League which has now put his participation against Arsenal in the Premier League at risk.