At 25-years-old, Anthony Martial could be considered prime Martial, last season’s stats and his current age reflect that. He is not getting any younger, but Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continues to back his forward.
“He knows he will have to make it happen himself and we encourage him and coach him and we know that he’s got this quality and class.”
In 43 games in all competitions, Martial scored 22 goals last season. In the league he had 17 goals and 6 assists. One could speculate that summer reinforcements at forward were not brought in because of Martial’s form and not only monetary restraints due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
This season his form has dipped, Martial only has 4 goals and 3 assists in the league this season and the odd goal here and there in cup competitions. It is safe to say that statistically Martial is not performing at a level he is capable of.
“Everyone goes through a difficult patch at times and Anthony is working hard, that’s the main thing,” said Solskjaer about his French forward.
While watching Martial play one could see a lack of effort. A lack of effort that was blasted by many United fans and pundits.
In a game against Newcastle a couple of weeks ago, Martial was lambasted for his lack of efforts and mics picked up Solskjaer constantly “encouraging” him to get forward.
One specific incident that game, Daniel James was running with the ball down the right side and Martial was jogging getting into the box to provide the support for James down the wing.
On January, 31, 2010, in a game against Arsenal, Wayne Rooney had a stunning run were he started sprinting inside of his own half to get on the end of a ball after a stunning counter attack.
Rooney epitomized hard work when he put on the United uniform, the determination to get a goal in an important match against Arsenal on full display.
That type of determination has been missing from Martial this season. A season where United currently sit 2nd in the Premier League. Martial’s success is instrumental in the overall success for United and if he bagged four or five more goals this season United could be closer in the title race.
Martial is the big money forward on the team despite him signing almost six years ago. If United were to somehow get back in the title race, now being down 12 points after the weekend Martial needs to step up.
If he does not, realistically United might look to sell the Frenchman as they look to challenge for the title next season.