'Man Utd are seeing the real Pogba' - Martial hails Red Devils 'leader' & targets trophies

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A fellow France international and Old Trafford team-mate of the World Cup winner has saluted the form of a player thriving with greater freedom

Antony Martial says Manchester United are now seeing 'the real Paul Pogba' as an on-field leader has been granted the freedom he needs to flourish.

The World Cup-winning midfielder appeared destined to be heading out of Old Trafford earlier in the season as he struggled to make his mark under Jose Mourinho.

With the 25-year-old enduring a strained relationship with a Portuguese coach, he found himself stuck on the bench and sparking talk of a big-money move elsewhere.

The arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Mourinho’s successor has, however, breathed new life into Pogba and many of those around him.

Martial is another who is thriving, with the France international committing to a new long-term contract on the back of an upturn in form, and he believes United’s key men are delivering after being entrusted to perform in a less rigid tactical system.

He told Sky Sports of countryman Pogba, who has six goals and five assists through his last eight Premier League appearances: “We all know what quality Paul possesses - Paul is Paul.

“Now he has got this freedom to play with, I think we are beginning to see the real Paul Pogba play and let's hope it continues.

“He is a leader, he talks more in the dressing room than he does on the field to be fair. Technically and with the spoken word, he is a leader in both senses. I hope he can continue to lead us to great things.”

Pogba’s performances in the middle of the park, along with those of Martial in a wide attacking role, have contributed to United going unbeaten through their last 10 games in all competitions.

“I don't think we are very far off the top four now so it is just a case of keeping going, winning as many games as we can so we can ensure a place in those Champions League spots at the end of the season,” said Martial.

Anthony Martial Manchester United 2018-19

The 23-year-old, who is taking in a fourth season with the Red Devils, added on his future ambition after penning fresh terms to 2024: “Any footballer would say the same thing, [my goal is] to win as many titles and trophies as possible, as much silverware as possible and it is also really important to keep developing, progressing and improving as a player over the years.

“I'd describe the period [since Martial has been at United] as really enriching for me as a person and a footballer. They have been good years, I've learnt a lot and I hope that I can continue to push on in the next few years as well.

“The fans and I have had quite a special relationship from my first season and fortunately, it has continued to last until now. I hope it continues into the future and let's hope that together, we can win trophies and silverware.”

In pursuit of major honours, Martial will be looking to add to the two goals he has registered so far under the guidance of former United frontman Solskjaer.

“He [Solskjaer] is a coach with great values. I think he knows how to get the best out of players and he makes things clear so when we go out onto the field, we all know our jobs and we all know what we've got to do," said the highly-rated forward.

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“He's given me lots of advice. It's always positive to get advice from a top player in his own right, but sometimes, when you're out on the field, it comes down to what comes naturally to you and you do what you've always known how to do in terms of finishing.

“We have a laugh among ourselves quite often because I think finishing is something that comes naturally to me. I've played since I was a young kid, I've always been a footballer and a striker from that early age.

“The thing we laugh about is that I miss quite a few in training, whereas in a match, I may only get one chance and I manage to convert it.”