Tuesday 11 December 2018

Gary Neville believes there’s 'something wrong' with Manchester United match-winner Anthony Martial

Manchester United's Anthony Martial
Manchester United's Anthony Martial

Nick Stromberg

Gary Neville has suggested there is a problem with Anthony Martial, despite the forward scoring the winning goal for Manchester United against title rivals Tottenham at the weekend.

The Frenchman has endured a stop start campaign so far but climbed off the bench to fire United to victory on Saturday in a match-deciding substitute cameo.

But Neville fears that something is holding the striker back from fulfilling his vast potential.

“You always get the feeling he’s playing at 85%”, the pundit and Red Devils legend suggested. “If he showed that extra 15%, then he could do anything: for someone of that talent, he should be tearing this league apart with his ability.

"He could be a player that could score 20 goals in 20 games if he really wanted to and strived to be the best.”

The 21-year-old – signed in 2015 in a deal with Monaco worth £58 million -  has struggled to nail down a regular starting place this term, playing just 601 minutes across all competitions. United boss Jose Mourinho has instead preferred to lead his line with either Romelu Lukaku (1170 minutes) or Marcus Rashford (720), with Martial restricted principally to a super-substitute role.

Nevertheless, Martial – who has also lost his place in the national squad – actually boasts a better minutes-per-goal ratio (100) than both Lukaku (117) and Rashford (121).

Neville suggested, then, it could be a case of more regular game-time to ensure Martial is able to function at his best.

“He’s got everything you’d want: composure in front of goal, great skill, pace strength," he added. "He takes big moments on, so come on; let’s see it every single week.”

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