Anthony Martial’s Man Utd future has come under the spotlight following the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo but the forward showed just what he is capable of with France
Anthony Martial showed that he is capable of producing for Manchester United with a scruffy goal in France’s win over the Ukraine.
The Frenchman faces a defining season at Old Trafford – and the stakes have only increased following the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Martial was linked with the exit door in the summer and now his game time is set to be hampered with the return of United’s No 7.
The striker struggled last term, scoring just seven times, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has continued to put his faith in the 25-year-old.
Martial prepared for Ronaldo’s arrival by showing that he can score all types of goals – bundling home from close range for Les Blues in their draw with Ukraine.
It is most unlike the United striker, who has rarely scored what would be described as poachers’ goals.
He confessed early in Solskjaer’s reign that his aim was to score more ugly goals – a task he was set by the Norwegian.
“Yes it is true [Solskjaer] has often said that to me and even previous managers have said that, you have to work on that,” said Martial in 2019.
“If I do manage to do that, get beyond the defence, I think I will score more goals.
“He is asking me to attack more. That is my job after all. To make the difference to be more decisive.
“Things are working out well for the other attackers and I hope we can continue to be as effective.”
Martial is battling with the likes of Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood for a starting berth.
Nevertheless Solskjaer has given no indication that he wants to lose the France forward.
Following criticism last term the United boss believes Martial will be reenergised heading forward.
He said: “I wouldn’t be surprised if other teams targeted Anthony because he is a very good player. Back strong and hungry to prove his quality.
“You can see that grit between his teeth again, he is up for the challenge. We are happy that we have him.”
Martial has started one of United’s three games thus far, appearing from the bench in the other two.
Greenwood has been prolific, scoring in every game thus far, whilst Sancho started for the first time against Wolves.
Rashford remains absent through injury but Ronaldo is expected to make his debut against Newcastle on September 11 and Solskjaer has indicated that he will start.