Martial enjoyed a blistering start to life at Old Trafford but his progress has stalled somewhat in recent weeks, although Man United as a whole have been poor from an attacking point of view.
Sharpe insisted van Gaal’s conservative style of play has limited Martial in terms of what he can do on the pitch.
“If he’s there long enough and the manager takes the shackles off him he’ll do alright,” Sharpe said.
“You can see glimpses of brilliance. He’s powerful and quick and cool under pressure. All the signs are there that he has the potential to be a great.”
Martial plays with a maturity beyond his years and he always shows one or two glimpses of brilliance during a match.
Expectations have skyrocketed for the Frenchman – after all, he is a first-team regular at Old Trafford aged just 19 years old – but it is important to remember that he will have ups and downs over his early United career. Along with the likes of Andreas Pereira and Memphis Depay, it will take time until fans see the best of Martial on a consistent basis.