ANTHONY MARTIAL has gone from being one of the few players available for sale to one of the most impressive during Manchester United’s pre-season tour.
His inconsistencies over the past seven years sum up his time at Old Trafford.
But he has another chance to reignite his United career under another manager known for his possession-based style of play and with the striker at the heart of the system.
It’s something the Frenchman wants, to be at the heart of the team, using his technical skills to hold the game and bring the wingers into play.
He has shown he has a really good understanding with both Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford.
There was never any doubt about Martial’s ability, but rather his mentality and his tendency to let games go by without making a positive impact.
Despite being expected to play up front under Erik ten Hag, he is 24th percentile for pressure, 25th percentile for passes into the last third and 43rd percentile for shots on goal.
That compares to other attacking midfielders and wingers in Europe’s top five leagues over the last year.
He’ll need to improve massively in that regard to stay in the starting XI.
Certainly he hasn’t reached the potential he should have reached a few years ago, but the same can be said for other players in Rashford, Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw.
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Neither of them have been given the perfect environment and tactical setup to thrive when playing under Jose Mourinho or Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
However, Martial deserves this chance to prove himself, his fifth and final chance to prove his critics wrong.
Ten Hag believes he is up to the task as his exit from the club has been blocked alongside Donny van de Beek.
But if he fails, it could be the last time he plays at the highest level and with a big club.
The former Monaco and Lyon forward must seize the opportunity with both hands as the transfer market for established and proven strikers is limited.
This has led the board and manager to focus on other priorities.
Not only that, names like Darwin Nunez, Erling Haaland, Gabriel Jesus and Richarlison have already been snapped up by United’s rivals.
This should lead to the unsurprising result of the other sides beating Ten Hag’s team throughout the new season.
To capitalize on this chance effectively, Martial needs to offer plenty of runs and movement in the final third of the field, whether he’s on the ball or not.
This is something that is required when playing on a Ten Hag set system.
If not, he could be shipped off as Italian giants Juventus claimed to be admirers of the Frenchman.
Also, Martial must display ideal hunger and body language when playing, as the terms “lazy” and “unmotivated” are used against him by pundits and supporters.
Overall, he needs to perform and score consistently throughout the season, otherwise Ten Hag will have no trouble finding a replacement for him next summer.
He’s the type of manager who doesn’t want to carry passengers within the squad.
That’s why he hasn’t done everything in his power to ask Cristiano Ronaldo to stay as he only wants players to fight for him.
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Anthony Martial must finally show consistency to revive Man Utd’s career after stunning pre-season form