Manchester United news: Anthony Martial will peak after I have left, says Louis van Gaal

Manager praises French forward's contribution against Stoke but says he will not be on the touchline to see his best form

Louis van Gaal hailed Anthony Martial’s display for Manchester United in the 3-0 win over Stoke City – and then admitted he will not be the manager when the Frenchman reaches his peak.

Twenty-year-old Martial curled in United’s second goal after Jesse Lingard had opened the scoring, and the forward then teed up Wayne Rooney for the third.

Van Gaal admitted his surprise at Martial’s contribution this season, and conceded that he will not be on the touchline to witness the player’s best years. “It is very much surprising,” Van Gaal said. “You come from the French league, come to the Premier League and you do this at 20 then you have a lot of potential but then I am the manager not any more at that time when he is at his best.”

Martial was once again deployed on the wing for United, and Van Gaal refused to entertain the prospect of giving Martial a run of games as a centre-forward.

“That is dependent on the shape of the team, his fellow players,” he added. “He likes to play in a striker’s position more than where he is now playing but when I need him to play on the other side. When he plays like this I am not changing. Same as Rooney, same as Mata. I am not changing.

“They were team goals and team goals I love the most - superb, superb. I’m also happy with individual goals but these were a team. The finishing was also very good.”