Manchester United forward Anthony Martial has ben told that he is not ruthless enough to be considered world-class. This season, the Frenchman has scored 23 goals and 12 assists in 47 appearances so far this season with at least one more match to play which will be the UEFA Europa League semi-final against Sevilla on Sunday evening. Granted, Martial has not been ruthless in front of goal but there is scope for him to be turned into a striker of that ilk, especially with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer aiming to make changes to his performances.
Solskjaer has already suggested that tweaks to his training regime, which he feels has brought out the best of the player. It is clear to see that he is happier at the club and seems to be smiling much more than he was under the management of Jose Mourinho. You can also see that he is more frustrated when he misses, which is good to see. Against FC Copenhagen, Martial was criticised as he was very much frustrated with United needing extra time to find a winner, which came from the penalty spot with Martial winning it and Bruno Fernandes scoring it.
Obviously, this will be something for Solskjaer and his coaching staff to get the better of ahead of the next match. It is clear that Martial is improving, having his best season at the club so far this season, beating his 17 goal haul in his debt season at the club, which was under the management of Louis van Gaal. Former England striker, Darren Bent feels that the Frenchman could become a but more ruthless in front of goal, which would be great for United.
Martial does not have a player to look up to at the club, which might be the problem. Granted, he has Odion Ighalo to learn from but he once had Zlatan Ibrahimovic but the Swede took his shirt number on arrival, which irked the Frenchman. Whilst this season would need to be something that he completed, it is going to be a while before Martial could be considered as a clinical striker, like Robin van Persie, Rudd van Nistelrooy and Wayne Rooney. Bent, speaking to talkSPORT, said:
“I think he’s a very good footballer, he’s got fantastic feet, but I still don’t think he’s ruthless enough in front of goal.
“He’s not world class, not yet. You can’t start calling him world class after one good season. Robert Lewandowski is world class. Harry Kane is world class.
“If he can consistently keep putting these goals in over a number of years then of course you can put him in there, but not yet.
“Martial shows flashes of brilliance at times, but if you were to put Kane in those positions last night how many of those chances would he have scored? Probably all of them, because that’s how ruthless he is.”
Solskjaer might be able to teach him as much as he can about being ruthless in front of goal but there are no guarantees that it will happen for the Frenchman as it needs to be in instinct more than something that can be trained. Not launching more criticism at him, this season his improvement has been there to see. If he can continue in the same way next season, aiming to improve some more, then it will be right for United, especially as goals seem to be coming from other areas too with Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood in double figures, with Bruno Fernandes scoring 11 times since he arrived at the club in January.
Written by John Walker