(Reuters) - Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has heaped praise on team mate Anthony Martial for the professional and mature manner in which the forward has responded to recent criticism from manager Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese has often singled out Martial following lacklustre displays this campaign but the young Frenchman impressed by scoring one goal and setting up the other in a 2-0 league win over Watford on Saturday.
“When he plays, he is playing well. He isn’t a guy that speaks a lot, he is quiet and very professional. He always tries to do his best, trains hard and that is paying off, just like in this match,” Ibrahimovic told British media.
Despite making an immediate impact following his high-profile transfer from Monaco in 2015, the 21-year-old Martial has found himself on the fringes of the first team this season, having made just 10 league starts under Mourinho.
“I think it depends on every individual and what kind of person they are and their approach, how open he is. It is different for every person,” Ibrahimovic added.
“He is not going around with his head down. He is training hard, he gives a lot of energy and he wants to play, which is normal.”
United host French side St Etienne in the first leg of their round-of-32 Europa League clash on Thursday.
Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru