Garth Crooks tips Martial as a future Manchester United captain

Old Trafford

The Frenchman was on hand deep into injury time to secure a dramatic semi-final win over Everton on Saturday, leaving the BBC pundit thoroughly impressed.

BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks has heaped praise on Manchester United striker Anthony Martial, tipping the Frenchman to one day take over the captaincy at Old Trafford.

The 20-year-old was in fine form during his side's 2-1 win over Everton in Saturday's FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, drilling home an injury-time winner to send his side through to a record-equalling 19th final.

The win will ease the pressure on boss Louis van Gaal, whose future at the club has been the subject of increased speculation in recent weeks due to a disappointing Premier League campaign that sees United currently five points adrift of Champions League qualification - albeit with a game in hand on nearest rivals Arsenal.

But Crooks said there was a noticeable difference in the way the Dutchman set up his side at Wembley, adding that Martial has been one of the main beneficiaries.

In naming his Team of the Week for his BBC Sport column, Crooks wrote: "At last, Louis van Gaal has taken the shackles off his players' feet and allowed them to play the sort of football in keeping with Manchester United's traditions.

"No one has benefited more than Anthony Martial, who probed and prodded his way into the dark recesses of Everton's back four, found a key, unlocked their door and robbed them of all their possessions.

"Once the France international found himself face-to-face with Joel Robles in the Everton goal, there was only going to be one outcome."

Martial has himself generated a mixed reaction among many United fans, but Crooks is under no doubt that he has the talent to justify his £36 million price tag, adding that the Frenchman has a big future at the club.

"This lad looked a bit special the moment he walked into Old Trafford last summer," he added. "In fact he looks as if he could be a Manchester United captain one day."

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