Anthony Martial admits he was “scared” when he first joined Manchester United but has warned opponents he will be even better next season.
United’s deadline day signing of the then relatively unknown Martial raised plenty of eyebrows, especially when leaked documents revealed the deal could eventually cost the Red Devils €80million.
The 20-year-old has impressed in his debut campaign, scoring 12 goals in all competitions, although he insists he should have scored more.
“I think I could have done better. There were some chances that I missed, but I think next year it will be much better,” he said.
“At the beginning, I was scared because I had heard a lot about the intensity of the English game.
“But I realised during the matches that I was able to keep up, and I was really very happy about that because as a youngster I struggled to finish games — at the age of 17 they said I needed to work on my endurance.”
Martial also took time to praise United manager Louis van Gaal, who is expected to be replaced by Jose Mourinho at the end of the season.
However, the France international insists he receives no preferential treatment from the Dutchman, despite his relative inexperience.
“If I misplace a pass or I take a poor touch, he [Van Gaal] is the first I hear who is screaming at me,” he told French outlet RTL.
“It makes me laugh because I know it is for my own good. He wants me to be a perfectionist and I think it is like that that I will progress.
“He has allowed me to progress enormously, he has also given me an enormous amount of confidence and I think it is thanks to this that I have succeeded with my start at Manchester United.
“He is a very good coach. In his nature he seems cold on the exterior but he is a very good coach. He is nice – when we win, he is happy.”