After the latest friendly that involved two of the most valuable football teams in the world, in which Manchester United defeated Real Madrid 2-1 in penalty kicks, Jose Mourinho tipped Anthony Martial to have his best season yet.
The France international joined Utd back in 2015 for an initial £36m, the highest fee paid for a teenager in football history and after scoring in his first match, was named The Premier League Player of the Month. Yet ever since then the 21-year-old has struggled to justify his price tag.
After setting up Lingard’s first half opener and the only goal for Utd with a fabulous piece of skill that took him past Luka Modric and Daniel Carvajal, along with Scott McTominay and Victor Lindelof, Martial failed in the penalty shoot-out, blazing over the bar.
Thus far, Utd have won all three of their pre-season friendlies against Real Salt Lake and Manchester City, with Martial scoring in the opener against LA Galaxy a week ago. This was the first game Mourinho had given him a start.
“Obviously we want more consistency in his talent,” said Mourinho. “I think today was positive for him, that’s why I left him for 90 minutes on the pitch.
“He was enjoying and trying things, it’s important to try things in these friendly matches so it was good for Anthony and his confidence.
“He’s a young player, there’s still time to learn, still time to improve, still time to develop, and it’s also his personality,
“I can say he’s training better than before, he’s working harder than before, it’s just a question of bringing his talent more in a consistent way.”
United flew to Washington DC after the game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara and face Barcelona on Wednesday, before flying back to Manchester to continue their pre-season preparations.