Martial has the backing of Berbatov

Wednesday 16 November 2022 06:59

Anthony Martial will have a legendary Manchester United striker rooting for him when the 2022/23 campaign resumes after the current World Cup break.

One of the Frenchman's predecessors in the Reds' no.9 shirt, Dimitar Berbatov, admitted to having a keen interest in his form and fitness when he spoke exclusively to club media recently.

Even though they are 15 years apart in age, the pair played 25 games together for AS Monaco and even collaborated for a Champions League goal as the Ligue 1 side beat Arsenal 3-1 away at the Emirates Stadium in February 2015.

Martial, then only 19, assisted his senior team-mate and seemingly earned himself an advocate in the process.
Berbatov (no.9) celebrates after scoring for Monaco at Arsenal, thanks to an assist from Martial (no.23).
"I have my love for certain players in the [current United] team. For Anthony Martial, it's because I used to play with him," Berbatov reminded us.

"I want to see him play, I want to see him go out there and do what he can do.

"I hope he can stay fit - and that goes for every player, for sure."


Martial's recent return to both the teamsheet and scoresheet for United came too late for him to gain a recall to France's squad for Qatar 2022. And while that means he will have to wait almost a month for the next opportunity to build up his match fitness, the break could prove beneficial as the Reds play the long game in 2023.

"The Premier League season is a tough one, it's a long one," said Berbatov, "and you need to listen to the physios, listen to your coach.

"Sometimes they are going to rest you, you aren't going to play. That's obviously another tricky point. If you play, play, play and score, then you don't want a rest because it's going to stop your flow, it's going to stop your rhythm.

"So this is a very tricky balance, to know how to manage and to keep the players happy and their rhythm going. But if the [players] stay fit and stay healthy, I think the quality they've got in the team means they [United] will be fine."


Exclusive: Berbatov's mid-season review Video

Exclusive: Berbatov's mid-season review

Don't miss Berba's exclusive mid-season review, where the former Red talks Ten Hag, Martial, Martinez and more...

United will have two friendly matches in Spain early next month, against Cadiz and Real Betis on 7 and 10 December respectively, and if Martial features in what will feel like a mini pre-season, Berbatov would love to see him reprise his performances of last summer.

"He had a great pre-season," said Dimitar, recalling Anthony's three goals in three consecutive tour games in Thailand and Australia.

"You're fired up, your confidence is up there. And then you get an injury and that can be a problem. That can be something that stops your confidence, stops your flow. And then you need time to get fit and you need to get integrated back into the training process and into the games.

"If that happens, let me tell you, it's not a pleasant feeling. It can be a fast process or a slow process. Other players are playing football, so you need to catch up to them. Other players are getting into the team. So that's why I say the most important thing is to stay fit. Stay fit, be smart."

Martial making his mark: