In an interview with The Sun [per Squawka News], Pires made it clear that he feels the 20-year-old Martial is going to be a very important player for France in the Euro 2016 tournament.
“In my book, maybe he should start. (Anthony) Martial is very important to France. He’s young, too, but is coming off a very good season at Manchester United and I think he can do well,” Pires said.
Pires said that the team needs to rely on its depth just as much as its biggest stars such as Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba, and said Martial fits the bill as someone who can emerge in the Euro.
“The French team is all about the 23-strong squad and not just the biggest names like Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann. And Martial can make a big impact.”
Martial made his presence known to the world after stellar debut season for Manchester United following a world-record transfer fee last summer. He went on to score 11 Premier League goals and 17 total goals as a versatile forward/winger for Man United, and was added to Didier Deschamps’ side as a winger for the Euro.
Pires was a member of France’s dominant teams from 1998 to 2003. During that stretch, Les Bleus won the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Euro 2000 and the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2001 and 2003.