Anthony Martial struggled in front of goal last season, managing only three goals at Old Trafford in the Premier League, but he sent the perfect message to Jose Mourinho against West Ham United on Sunday.
The Frenchman had only been on the pitch for seven minutes when he received a smart pass from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and took a sublime touch that sent him clean through on goal. Joe Hart rushed out, but there was only going to be one result.
This was the Martial from the Louis van Gaal era – the silent and lethal Frenchman who you just knew would score when presented with a chance.
And Mourinho should not think twice about handing him a chance to wreak havoc from the start against Swansea City on Saturday.
Martial didn’t smile after scoring against West Ham, and this is not because of his generally muted demeanour, but indeed because you can tell he is on a personal mission.
Last season wasn’t good enough for his lofty standards. He knows that. And his job this time around is to end up in as many goalscoring positions as possible. That goal against West Ham was a perfect example: he was a lurking, ominous presence until being unleashed. That sudden burst of danger is what makes Martial such a tantalising prospect.
Mourinho has made note of his improved work rate over pre-season and will be keen to see the youngster translate this new veneer of determination into goals at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.