Grounded Martial shuns comparisons to Henry

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Anthony Martial is not Thierry Henry; he is Anthony Martial. Furthermore, the 19-year-old Manchester United striker would really appreciate it if you’d quit comparing him to his iconic countryman.

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Ask Martial, who this week is back in France for national team duty and spoke to French TV channel BFM, and he’ll tell you that not only are he and Henry different as people, but also as players, insisting they “do not have the same characteristics.”

Martial, on the comparisons to Henry and how he departed Monaco — translated quotes from the Guardian:

“I know this is a very great player who is a legend in England. I do not think we have the same characteristics. Thierry Henry is Thierry Henry. I still have everything to prove. By continuing to work, I will try to reach his level but I am still very far off.”

“Basically, I was told ‘untransferable’ so I thought [I was] staying in Monaco,” he said. “When I knew about the offer, I did not hesitate a second and it was done quickly. I really wanted to continue to play in the Champions League. Van Gaal called me and spoke to my mother who did the translation. When I arrived in Manchester I met him, we discussed at length and it was done quickly.”

As for the pressure that a $55-million transfer fee (the highest ever paid for a teenager) puts on someone his age, Martial says, “It did not bother me too much. It was more my family with all that was written in the newspapers and what was said. I was just in a hurry to go to Manchester and play football.

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“I try to ignore it all. I stay in my bubble, I concentrate on the football, I work and I try to learn English as quickly as possible.”

Martial is not only saying all the right things, but he clearly backs himself to improve and progress through endless hard work. He has completely dedicated himself to becoming the very best footballer he can be. $55 million is a lot of money, but if you’re to spend that much on a player, you’d be desperate for him to conduct and project himself just as Martial has done thus far.