Tuesday 24 October 2017

Jose Mourinho gives brutally honest assessment of Anthony Martial's Manchester United future

Anthony Martial is enduring a difficult second season at Manchester United
Anthony Martial is enduring a difficult second season at Manchester United
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Anthony Martial will return to his team for Sunday’s FA Cup fourth round clash against Wigan.

Martial’s future at United has been the subject of heated discussion in recent months, with the French forward no longer assured of his place in Mourinho’s starting line-up after indifferent form.

Mourinho went public in his criticism of Martial as suggested he was being adversely influenced by his agent, with rumours linking the forward with a move to Spain and Germany in recent days.

Now Mourinho has confirmed Martial will get another chance to impress this weekend, as he plans to shake up his team as United continue their defence of the FA Cup.

“Anthony will play on Sunday and if he plays magnificently, he will play against Hull in the next match – it’s simple,” Mourinho told the United website.

“I will make some changes, that’s obvious. We play Hull again three days after Wigan, but I’m going to play a good team with the responsibility to give fans a good performance at home and with the responsibility to try to win against Wigan.”

“This is the second match for us in the FA Cup and I want to do it in a serious way. We have to play with a very good team; the only player that is out is De Gea, I’ll give him a few days off.”

Mourinho told reporters earlier this week that he has not lost faith in Martial, as he stressed the striker needed to fight for his place in a squad loaded with attacking talent.

“I don’t think he lost his focus,” said Mourinho. “I just think he didn’t catch with both hands a big opportunity he had. When we spoke about Memphis Depay (leaving United) we spoke about it being the only position where we have an over-booking of players.

“We have still five players for this position. I cannot give one player chances to play and kill the others. To kill the others, I think I already did that with Memphis by considering him the last option and by not giving him any option.

"But with the other guys I think you would be asking me why Mata is not playing or why Marcus Rashford doesn’t have a chance, or why Jesse Lingard, a national team player, is not playing.

“We have (Marcus) Rashford, (Jesse) Lingard, (Juan) Mata, (Henrikh) Mkhitaryan and Martial, and I cannot give the same player chance after chance after chance and not consider the effort of the others.

“Anthony played against Liverpool, a big match for us and a big match for him, too. Then the next game I went to Mata and Mkhitaryan. This is the situation.”

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