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Offline Emisphere

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« on: April 07, 2016, 04:55:06 PM »

Anthony Martial is closing in on a goals record for players who started their first full season at Manchester United as teenagers, which is currently shared by Brian Kidd and Wayne Rooney.

Martial, who was 19 at the start of 2015/16 and turned 20 in December, bagged his 13th goal of the campaign with an opportunistic back-post finish that secured Sunday's 1-0 win over Everton.

Kidd scored 17 goals during his debut campaign in 1967/68, when he broke into Sir Matt Busby's first team as a raw 18-year-old. He famously turned 19 on the day he netted in the European Cup final win over Benfica at Wembley.

Rooney also netted 17 times in his first season, 2004/05, starting with three goals on his debut against Fenerbahce at just 18 years and 335 days - a feat that made him the youngest player to register a Champions League hat-trick. Like Kidd, he scored on his 19th birthday, as Arsenal were defeated 2-0.

Norman Whiteside played his first two games at the close of 1981/82, but it was in the subsequent campaign, his first full one in the senior squad, when he wowed fans. The 17-year-old bagged 14 goals in 57 outings and became the youngest player to score in the League Cup final and the FA Cup final.

Martial sits just behind Whiteside in our statistical table and above an 18-year-old Sir Bobby Charlton, who graduated through the ranks to score 12 goals in just 17 games during 1956/57.

Andy Ritchie made his debut as a 17-year-old in December 1977 but only made four appearances that season. We consider 1978/79, when he scored 10 goals, to be his first full season. A 17-year-old Alex Dawson also scored 10 in 1957/58, including a hat-trick in the FA Cup semi-final replay against Fulham.

A 17-year-old Ryan Giggs registered seven goals in his first full season with the seniors and that places him level with his good friend Paul Scholes, who also scored seven as a 19-year-old in 1994/95.

United famously paid a world-record transfer fee for a teenager when Cristiano Ronaldo was bought from Sporting Lisbon in 2003 and the Portuguese forward went on to become the best player on the planet, although his six-goal haul during his debut season is less than half the amount registered by Martial.

George Best, who went on to become one of the most iconic figures to grace a pitch, clocked up six goals as a supremely-gifted 17-year-old in 1963/64.

With seven Barclays Premier League fixtures and at least an Emirates FA Cup sixth-round replay left to play this season, Martial could yet score the five goals he needs to set a new record ahead of current holders Kidd and Rooney.

« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 04:58:10 PM by Emisphere »


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