Jose Mourinho has urged Anthony Martial to fulfil his potential and likened him to Karim Benzema, whom the manager had a turbulent relationship with at Real Madrid.
Mourinho came to blows with Martial on last summer’s pre-season tour after the Frenchman flew home from the US to attend the birth of his child.
The Portuguese drew comparison between Martial and Benzema. While at Madrid, Mourinho famously said of Benzema: ‘Karim’s playing because I’ve got nothing else.’
But the fractious relationship, Mourinho contests, was a bid to get the best out of Benzema. Something, he says, he was trying to do with Martial.
Mourinho told L’Equipe: ‘With Karim, it was not a conflict, I just wanted to help the player – an incredibly talented player – change his mindset, help him reach his maximum.
‘To become a killer, a determined striker. I really enjoyed working with Karim.
‘He [Martial] is a boy with a different personality. The thing I can say is that I hope he will reach a level commensurate with his real potential.’