Louis van Gaal has warned those expecting too much of £36.7million striker Anthony Martial too soon, insisting he needs time to “adapt” at Manchester United.
Eyebrows were raised, obsolete fees from decades ago were referenced and net spends were checked in the aftermath of Martial’s deadline day move to Old Trafford earlier this month.
The 19-year-old became the most expensive teenager ever after joining from Monaco, but Van Gaal has warned not to expect too much from the forward this early in his career, with the Frenchman earmarked as a purchase for the future.
“I can imagine that the fans shall think ‘£50million, he has to score!’ No, he is 19 and he has to adapt,” Van Gaal told a press conference.
“It is very difficult to adapt. You have seen how Di Maria struggled and he is 27. Falcao was 29. At Manchester United the pressure is much higher than another club, so I don’t think we have to put too much pressure on him.
“He has to adapt to our culture and our philosophy. Then, maybe he can show signals of his quality in the season.
“The crazy world of football is that there is a market and a market price. We cannot have any influence on that price. There is a market and market value, we cannot control that!”
“I have said to Ed [Woodward], he is the best of his age, and we need a striker in the future.
“So we can wait a year and then he is £10million more expensive, but now we can build him up and at the right time he can enter the game.”