This image from Sky Sports compares some top-level stats for Anthony Martial vs Wayne Rooney when he was the same age (19).
Wayne had played nearly twice as many club games as Martial at this age, with more than double the number of starts and goals. He was also an established international, with 23 caps and 9 goals for England – he was the epitome of a teenage prodigy at the time.
19-year-old Martial’s experience is clearly short of 19-year-old Rooney’s, but his goals-per-starts ratio is decent. Martial has scored 1 goal per 2.6 starts at club level – almost matching Rooney’s goal per 2.5 starts at the same age.
What Martial lacks in experience, he may well make up for in maturity – he is a married father who apparently “prefers home-cooked meals to nights on the town.”
His confidence is also evident in the fact that he made the decision to take the number 9 shirt himself, and he has insisted “I will be ready when the time comes.”
Ultimately, players peak at different ages, and comparing Martial with Rooney as 19-year-olds doesn’t necessarily tell us too much about the future trajectory of the French forward’s career. Hopefully he will make his international debut tomorrow against Portugal, and kick on from there.
He’s a raw, largely unproven talent, but United “have been monitoring this young man very, very closely for a long time,” according to Sky Sports’ James Cooper, and it will be fascinating to watch his development. No pressure, Tony.