Manchester United forward Anthony Martial is a player who continues to divide opinion.
Once deemed the next hot property in European football, things haven’t quite turned out as many expected for the Frenchman.
Despite being a regular in the Red Devils’ side since his arrival in 2015, he is arguably yet to justify the £58million sum United were committed to paying for his services.
And following Jadon Sancho’s move to Old Trafford this summer, Martial could well find himself on his way out of the club, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reportedly prepared to offload him.
Solskjaer has continually backed Martial to come up with the goods for his side, but consistency remains a problem, while pundits Graeme Souness and Roy Keane feel there is a bigger issue United’s manager should be concerned with.
Anthony Martial’s position at Man Utd is under scrutiny
Speaking prior to United’s 0-0 draw with Chelsea back in February – which Martial had been named as a substitute for, Souness questioned his desire.
“Martial, I am not surprised he has left him out,” Souness said. “I think he is a young man who has all the talent in the world to succeed at the highest level but will he be disappointed he is not playing today?
“Does he ever show he has a passion about the game or emotional about the game? He’s one of those players that will look back and think, ‘I could’ve done so much.’ I’m a fan but I’m not a fan.”
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Ex-United captain Roy Keane was a hard taskmaster during his time at the club, and completely agreed with Souness’ verdict.
“He doesn’t look like he loves the game, which is always a worry,” Keane said.
Martial has often cut a frustrated, disconsolate figure during his spell in Manchester.
It was under Jose Mourinho were his struggles were really magnified, but the appointment of Solskjaer looked to have given him fresh enthusiasm to be a success in United’s attack.
Graeme Souness has questioned Martial’s desire to play at the top level
(Image: Sky Sports)
However, he has failed to truly live up to the expectations placed on a United No.9, with his boss now looking to bring another forward in to spearhead the club’s challenge for major honours.
With Sancho now in his squad, Solskjaer is likely to give Mason Greenwood more chances through the middle, while Edinson Cavani is still the preferred lead striker.
Tottenham could offer Martial an escape route as they maintain an interest in signing him, but are not thought to be willing to meet United’s £50million valuation.
Martial’s return of just seven goals last season has hardly got Europe’s elite queuing at the door.
And the Premier League’s all-time leading goalscorer Alan Shearer has been among the pundits to doubt Martial’s capabilities in the central striker role.
“I don’t think he’s a No.9. He doesn’t look comfortable in the nine position,” Shearer said in his damning assessment back in March.
“He doesn’t look as if he’s got that hunger to score as many goals as he could and should.”