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Martial Godo: The Margate Neymar

Manchester United were well acquainted with Martial Godo after around 90 seconds last night when the English winger put a picturesque ball into the box for the onrushing Thelo Aasgaard. The Norwegian was thwarted by a big save from Andre Onana, but everyone watching at home was probably too busy admiring the initial ball to even notice the fact it hadn’t gone in the back of the net.

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In games with Premier League opposition against lower league sides, it’s rare that the lower league players ever show true moments of brilliance like that. Martial Godo looked like he belonged amongst the Manchester United players last night, and held onto the ball like a player who’d been in the Premier League for a decade or more.

Wigan manager Shaun Maloney has tipped Godo to become a first-team player at Fulham in the next few seasons, and it’s not hard to see why he shares that belief.

“He’s got a real chance of being a very, very good Premier League player”.

Shaun Maloney on Martial Godo.

Martial Godo, Right To The Top:

Fulham signed Martial Godo from Margate in 2022 as an 18-year-old. The winger was on trial with the London club and impressed so much that they kept him on and signed him. He has one lone appearance for Marco Silva’s side since arriving, which came in a 2-0 defeat to Crawley Town in the Carabao Cup second round.

Godo once struggled to get into the Margate team before his move to the Premier League with Fulham, so the journey from then until now has not been a straightforward one. The challenges get rougher as the league goes down, and fancy footwork like Godo’s does not always work as well at that level as it does in the likes of the Championship or the Premier League.

“You get smashed and you get back up. At the start at Margate I’d try to jump over challenges and they could see it was working,” said Godo. “I had to start facing it and say, with the way I play I’m going to get smashed. It is about how you get up. Two or three times a game I’d get smashed, but it helped me become a man. You take that into the academy and men’s football.

Martial Godo, Speaking to the Telegraph.

The English winger appeared 22 times for Margate during his time at the club and scored three goals in total. He signed for the team from Kent from Dartford Academy. Margate took pride in seeing Martial shine last night against Manchester United and took to Twitter to explain their delight that one of their own was taking on the big boys of the Premier League, and taking to it like a fish in water.

Godo has been subject to some huge praise since signing for Wigan. Well-renowned scout the Secret Scout on Twitter has been trying to alert people to the quality of the youngster for some time, suggesting that he will become one of the best attacking midfielders in the league very soon.

The scout had been working with Godo from the ages of 13-16 and revealed Godo was rejected by several clubs due to the fact they believed he was too small. They persevered, having belief in the true ability Godo possessed, and eventually ended up getting the move they desired when Fulham signed him.

Fulham U21’s + International Debut’s:

Godo was shining for Fulham’s U21s before he got the loan move to Wigan. He had 8 goals and 3 assists in 26 games during his time at youth level and scored against some top academys including a goal in a 2-1 win against Manchester City in August last year. The Wigan winger had 6 goals and 2 assists in 4 games for Fulham in the Premier League 2 before making his switch on loan to Wigan last year.

He also made his England youth debut for the Euro Elite Squad at U20 level. Godo came on as a sub in a 3-0 defeat to Italy. He made his second appearance 3 days later and assisted Samuel Edozie of Southampton for the equalising goal against Germany in a 3-2 win.

Player Profile:

Godo is averaging 2.81 successful dribbles per 90 minutes in League One this season, with a dribble success rate of 61.2%. Dribbling is a strong point for the winger, with his 1 on 1 ability one of the best in the league this season. He averages 0.7 key passes per game.

Eberechi Eze is a player that comes to mind when watching Martial Godo on the ball. The two players have similar styles when dribbling, and can similarly drive into space. The Wigan forward is a dream for a transition-based side. and showcased his importance in a team like that last night when countering against Manchester United’s high-line.

Godo is strong when isolating wingers in wide areas and can go down either side, which gives him an element of surprise that even players in the Premier League lack. United’s Antony has been criticised for his lack of taking players on down the outside, and this is something Godo perhaps does better than the £100m pound man.

Martial Godo Highlights 2021 22 season Non League Talent 0 42 screenshot 1

Another area where the winger thrives is with an overlapping full-back going down the outside. Godo’s pace and power usually draw players in, which allows the full-back he’s playing with to have space down the outside to run into for a cross into the box. Godo is good at timing the passes into the onrushing defenders and frequently uses them instead of running aimlessly into the inside and losing the ball.

Martial Godo Highlights 2021 22 season Non League Talent 1 9 screenshot
Martial Godo Highlights 2021 22 season Non League Talent 1 13 screenshot

The Fulham loanee is also good at timing runs in behind a back four. The pace he has allows him to sneak in behind opposition defences, and when the time comes he has good composure in front of the goal to stick the ball away and finish. He has all the qualities you’d want from a winger, and at just 20 years old is only likely to get better and better from here on out.

Godo’s can play on both wings and also use both feet. Modern football’s obsession with playing left-footers on the right wing means his future is likely to be on the left, but along with Alejandro Garnacho last night the pacey winger proved that right-footers can still make the right flank work. This was especially evident when he pierced the United defence from the right with that. killer pass.

Dalot Fernandes Send United Through Wigan 0 2 Manchester United Emirates FA Cup 2023 24 0 10 screenshot
Dalot Fernandes Send United Through Wigan 0 2 Manchester United Emirates FA Cup 2023 24 0 11 screenshot

How High Can He Go?

Time will ultimately tell, and you can never truly predict with certainty where a player will or won’t go. Godo has all the attributes to go right to the very top, and if he applies himself correctly and makes the right career choices in the next few seasons it’s hard to imagine he won’t at least be a regular for Fulham in the Premier League.

One thing is for certain, Erik ten Hag will have taken notice of how Godo cut through the United defence at times last night, and it would not be a surprise to see the Red Devils become interested in his services in the coming months. He is a Manchester United fan after all.

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