Anthony Martial has dedicated his 2015 Golden Boy award to the “incredible” fans of Manchester United.
Martial has won the award, established by Italian newspaper Tuttosport and voted for by numerous other publications around the world, after being voted Europe’s best player under the age of 21.
The Frenchman turned 20 just a fortnight ago, and has largely impressed this calendar year, notably earning a move from Ligue Un Monaco to United for an initial £37.6million. As a result of that move, Martial became the most expensive teenager ever in world football.
Martial scored 11 goals in 36 appearances for Monaco in the first half of 2015, and has seven goals in 20 United games, representing the club’s top goalscorer so far this season.
The striker also made his full debut for France this year, and was quick to credit the fans for his award.
“I am very happy and honoured to have won the Golden Boy, it was a surprise for me,” Martial said. “I have only now found out, at the last minute, and I must say that it is a very special award. A great Christmas gift.”
“I’d like to dedicate it to our fans, they are incredible, formidable, they travel from anywhere to be near us and no matter where in England or overseas we can find ourselves because we can always hear them singing and supporting us.”
Martial then turned his attention to his club’s form, with defeat to Norwich their third in a row.
“Now we just have to get back to victory, to get a series of consecutive wins. Last week was very difficult for us with the elimination from the Champions League in Wolfsburg, which was followed by the unexpected defeats in the league.”
Martial also commented on comparisons to compatriot Thierry Henry, as well as his mammoth price tag.
“It’s an honour to be compared to the great Thierry Henry, but I have a duty to remain down to earth,” Martial said. “I want to focus on my game and to keep growing as a player. Van Gaal told me since last summer to work hard and that’s what I’m doing.
“As for the price that was paid by United, the comments I hear about it don’t bother me too much. If anything, it was a heavy load to bear for my family, they had a little fear with everything that was written in the newspapers and what has been said. I was just in a hurry to move to Manchester and play football.”