Chris Smalling: Anthony Martial has been ‘brilliant’ for Man United this season

by Ben Topliss

Chris Smalling has praised the way Manchester United teammate Anthony Martial has coped with pressure this season.

Martial came under scrutiny before he had even kicked a ball for Man United due to the initial £36m fee the club paid for him in the summer.

However, the Frenchman has gone from strength to strength over the course of the campaign, most recently scoring a last-gasp winner in the 2-1 win over Everton in the FA Cup semi-final last time out. Smalling was full of praise for Martial.

“No one is going to have a harder circumstance coming to Old Trafford with the pressure he had and he is performing brilliantly,” Smalling said.

“A lot of players come with potential but it’s how they perform on that stage and luckily enough for us he’s taken to it like it’s like it’s nothing.

“Not many players come in with that amount of pressure and he was relatively unknown to the majority of us so to see him turn up week after week, he’s our main attacking threat and he’s been brilliant all season. Nothing seems to faze him and you can see that when he gets the ball, he’s got the beating of anyone no matter who he’s playing against.

“More often than not he gets the beating of them and that’s great for us because you just want to feed players like that who are constantly that high on confidence all season. You can tell in training sessions, his pace, his ability to take on people, after a few training sessions you have to try to suss him out.”

The likes of Memphis Depay and Adnan Januzaj have struggled to make an impact at Old Trafford this term but Martial has blown all the expectations of him out of the water.

He is undoubtedly the shining light in this United side and the team’s chances of success in the run-in will likely depend on him.

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