Dimitar Berbatov has disclosed that he had informed Anthony Martial to be more positive when taking on defenders, prior to the forward’s move to Old Trafford.
The strike duo had played alongside each other at Monaco during the Bulgarian’s time in Monte Carlo. On grounds of the chemistry they both shared, the Bulgarian had apparently advised the Frenchman to take his chances as he wormed his way past defenders. The 36-year-old insisted that he felt Martial was being too hesitant when forging forward on the pitch.
The influential figure, speaking to ESPN, proclaimed: “I went into the first training session [with Monaco] and saw Anthony Martial, James Rodriguez, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Yannick Carrasco, Bernardo Silva. These young players were flying around me and I was thinking: ‘What the fuck? I am too old or are these guys too good.’
“Martial had something special and he’s developed. He’ll develop even more. You could see how fast and strong he was. The only thing lacking was to be more confident. I liked playing in defence in training; it helped me understand the defenders well.”
“Martial would come towards with me the ball. Sometimes he hesitated; he didn’t want to take me on because he thought I was going to take his ball. The self-belief was not there. ‘I would say: ‘Anto, you are so quick, you can go past me. Don’t be afraid to do that to every player because you are so quick.’ He’s a top guy.”
Martial has appeared in 178 games for the Red Devils since his advent from Monaco in a £36 million deal back in 2015. He has netted 45 goals, consequently aiding the Mancunians to claim an FA Cup, a League Cup and a Europa League title.
Supporters are sure to find it intriguing that the forward lacked confidence, considering the decent performances he has consistently put up in both his debut campaign and the current season. Regardless, it seems the Bulgarian’s words didn’t fail to serve their purpose of fostering the 21-year-old.
Written by Hritwik NE
Passionate writer, coated in Blue.