Anthony Martial faces a fight for his Manchester United future, with Jose Mourinho indicating the forward much improve his game.
In one of the most surprising transfers of last summer the Reds bought the France international from Monaco for an initial £36million, a fee which could rise to £57.6million. Even without this potential increase, Martial became the most expensive teenager in football history when he arrived at Old Trafford.
But after scoring on his debut in a 3-1 win over Liverpool, the forward soon won his doubters over and ended the season with 17 goals in 49 appearances in all competitions. However, he has found life in Manchester more difficult this term, and he has scored just twice since Mourinho succeeded Louis van Gaal in the dugout.
The Portuguese coach has a whole host of options in Martial’s preferred attacking role, something which was emphasised when Henrikh Mkhitaryan impressed during a rare start in the 4-0 win over Feyenoord on Thursday. And Mourinho has advised the 20-year-old that he must take his chances when they are offered.
“The way the team played last season – and I’m not saying better or worse, just different – was probably more adapted to Anthony,” he said. “Probably he was feeling more comfortable playing that way, at that intensity, at that rhythm of the ball possession and ball circulation. So probably he needs also some time.
“But for these positions, we have Mkhitaryan, Jesse Lingard, Memphis Depay, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford, Martial. These are probably the positions where we have more options. And, you have one opportunity, you have two, you have three – if you don’t bite, then somebody comes and takes the meat.”